updated 07:55 am EDT, Thu August 19, 2010
Moto tablet co-designed with Google for Android 3
Motorola's 10-inch Android tablet could be Google's officially chosen flagship device, Digitimes Research analyst Mingchi Kuo claimed to know on Thursday. The project has been likened to the T-Mobile G1, where Google had a direct hand in designing the hardware and insisted on pure Android for the OS. Google may consider it a representative of what Android 3.0 could do.
The hardware would be fast through using NVIDIA's dual-core Tegra 250, but it would make some sacrifices in the display compared to its obvious rival, the iPad. A Sharp-sourced display wouldn't be as bright as the LG Display-made panel on Apple's tablet, but it would be thinner. Verizon is still seen as the main carrier partner for cellular data.
Kuo expects that the tablet would start volume production by the end of 2010 and implies that Motorola might not necessarily launch the hardware before 2011. Motorola purportedly doesn't have ambitious targets for its slate, as it has estimated selling two million next year where Apple sold as many iPads in under two months.
The Android design, which could be known as the Stingray and carry a FiOS TV angle, may signal Google hedging its bets with not one but two signature tablets. An HTC-made official Chrome OS tablet is rumored for November 26, also on Verizon, and could end up competing with Motorola's model. Google has said it sees Android and Chrome OS targeting different markets, but having two similarly specified tablets could be a way of testing the waters to see which the public prefers.
Either may still face a tough market. Android phones have overtaken Apple in short term market share, but Android tablets are virtually non-existent and will have to overcome a much larger entrenched market now that Apple will have already sold several million iPads by the time Motorola or HTC ships.