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Android 4.0 looks set for late October release

by Scott Bicheno on 19 September 2011, 10:14

Tags: Notion Ink, Google (NASDAQ:GOOG)

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qa7cf

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Club sandwich

It's probably not a great sign when you're better known for leaking details of the next version of Android than for your own product, but we're grateful to the founder of Notion Ink nonetheless for his uninhibited blogging.

Rohan Shravan seems to have faced many challenges, not least ill health, in getting his Adam tablet - which we first wrote about over a year ago - off the ground. In a recent blog post he insisted things were back on course, and in so doing said "we all know about the impending launch of ICS (IceCream Sandwich) in October." Well we do now Rohan. Elsewhere he specified late October for the next major version of Android.

It's worth a recap of the rumour mill surrounding ICS. The general assumption is that it will be called Android 4.0, and the main reason for moving up a whole number - as opposed to the endless decimal-point increments we've had inflicted on us this year - is that ICS will bring the tablet version (Honeycomb) and the smartphone versions (of which Gingerbread is the most recent) together in one unifying version of the platform.

This isn't the first time October has been suggested as the release date, with BGR being especially proactive on the rumour-mongering front, but it is the first time we're aware of that a Google partner has gone on the record with a date estimation.

The lead device for ICS is generally thought to be called the Nexus Prime, and will once more be made by Samsung, which seems a bit harsh on those OEMs yet to get any Google special treatment, such as LG and Sony Ericsson.

Furthermore the word on the street is that TI is due some Google loving, and that the OMAP 4460 will be the SoC. This will mark yet another chip partner for Samsung which, let's not forget, also makes its own. With NVIDIA's Tegra 2 already extensively used in Samsung mobile devices, and even Qualcomm's Snapdragon apparently on the menu, you have to wonder what Samsung's strategy is for its own Exynos chip.

The Notion Ink Adam is a Tegra device, and Shravan doesn't reckon he'll be able to update it with ICS until November. This is consistent with Google's strategy of giving lead partners a head start over the rest of the Android ecosystem. Of course everyone is wondering if, assuming Google completes its acquisition of Motorola, it will be exclusively Moto to get this competitive advantage in future.

 



HEXUS Forums :: 6 Comments

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The lead device for ICS is generally thought to be called the Nexus Prime, and will once more be made by Samsung, which seems a bit harsh on those OEMs yet to get any Google special treatment, such as LG and Sony Ericsson.
:laugh: rofl … at the thought that SE would get a device that, by definition, has to be kept software current. I'm sure my fellow Xperia owners will be similarly amused …

I've got two hopes for ICS:
  1. That's it's a LOT better than Honeycomb - especially the bundled browser, which appears to be widely regarded as a nasty POS. According to the postings on Android Forums there doesn't seem to be anyone who thinks it's fit for purpose;
  2. That it appears on tablets (because they're Honeycomb'd) as soon as possible. In my case, an Asus one.
As if having the bragging rights of a Nexus phone is any advantage. They sell really poor compared to other devices.

A shame really, as I am still using my Nexus One and much prefer it to my Xperia Play.

I want the Nexus Prime for the NFC capability. Are there any UK banks which support Android?
billybear
As if having the bragging rights of a Nexus phone is any advantage. They sell really poor compared to other devices.

A shame really, as I am still using my Nexus One and much prefer it to my Xperia Play.

I want the Nexus Prime for the NFC capability. Are there any UK banks which support Android?

Yeah, but look at the sales of the HTC Desire after HTC got the Nexus One…
For me, the most interesting thing I discovered after following the links in this story was that ZTE are planning on making a 7", 1024x600 tablet with a Pixel Qi display. Given the price points ZTE normally aim to hit, it could be this year's budget tablet to look out for (that or the etouch 702et ;) )
crossy
:laugh: rofl … at the thought that SE would get a device that, by definition, has to be kept software current. I'm sure my fellow Xperia owners will be similarly amused …

To be fair to SE once my X10 finally got 2.3.3 its been great - almost a new phone (and a newer version of Android than a friend's HTC desire). I think SE have begun to realise that updates will help them win the game and I think the attitude with the company has changed. I guess the real answer though will be what updates the ARC/Play get…