updated 09:45 pm EST, Mon November 7, 2011
ASUS said moving Transformer Prime back a month
ASUS may be delaying the Transformer Prime by a month to give it Android 4.0 out of the box, part suppliers claimed late on Monday. Still officially slated for November 9, the convertible tablet was supposedly being moved back to early December for what Digitimes heard was special collaboration. Google may have agreed to help out to make it the first tablet shipping with Android 4.0 out of the box.
Neither side has confirmed the move, although ASUS has gone on record as planning a 4.0 upgrade even if the Prime ships with 3.2.
The decision might help reverse a possible backlash among Taiwan-area tablet designers. Some have been resentful that Google wasn't providing help to upgrade to Android 4.0 and were even considering switching to Windows 8. The tipsters believed helping ASUS might keep some on Android and, if enough pressure exists, could lead Microsoft to license Windows 8 at cheaper rates to keep them onside.
Android 4.0 will be a minor upgrade on the tablet side and mostly brings elements like launching the camera from the lock screen and the overall visual polish. The Transformer Prime is a larger upgrade and will have the quad-core Tegra 3 along with a much lighter, slimmer, but higher-quality body.