It's not the latest flavor from Ben & Jerry's. But Android Ice Cream is bound to be a hit when it debuts this summer, the latest in Google's dessert-named updates for its mobile operating system.
Android-powered devices are currently running 2.2 (Froyo) or 2.3 (Gingerbread), and at last week's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Motorola unveiled the Xoom tablet, the first device to run the major update, Android 3.0 (Honeycomb), optimized for larger-screen tablet use.
There are now reports that the next release, 2.4, will either be called Ice Cream or Ice Cream Sandwich. But however they are labeled, future Android updates will have their work cut out in competing with Apple's iOS, which powers the iPhone and iPad. The iPhone 4 is currently distributed by AT&T and soon by Verizon Wireless, the largest U.S. wireless carriers.
If Android 2.4 arrives this summer, it will compete with the anticipated iPhone 5, which will pack the latest hardware and software from Apple's labs at Cupertino, Calif.
"The iPhone 5 will come out in June, at the same time 2.4 will become common," said technology consultant Rob Enderle. "The stakes are high. They're going to have to up their marketing game."
U.K.-based gadget news site Pocket Lint, citing "multiple sources familiar with the matter," reported Jan. 10 that Google will debut 2.4, code-named Ice Cream, this summer at its IO conference in May, with a June/July release date.
In a brief interview Wednesday, Google spokesperson Randall Sarafa couldn't tell us much about future Android updates. "We haven't set a timetable," he said, also declining to comment on the Verizon iPhone.
The latest data from Nielson shows Android and iOS almost neck-and-neck in the race for smartphone dominance in the U.S., with Apple ahead by a nose at 28.6 percent, compared to Android's 25.8, based on data from June through November.
Close behind is Research In Motion's BlackBerry, at 26.1, although Android is leading with new purchasers, 40 percent of whom chose Android during that period, compared with 27 percent for Apple and 19 percent for BlackBerry.
Apple's share is more impressive since its operating system runs on only one smartphone and currently one U.S. carrier, compared to the roster of manufacturers offering Android devices on all major carriers. That's also a marketing advantage for Apple.
"Google has the problem of too many products and not enough focus on any one of them, while Apple has the advantage of focusing on one device," said Enderle. "The customer gets confused with the Android product line."
Honeycomb vs iPad 2
Another Google-Apple matchup will play out in the next few months as Motorola's Xoom and other tablets running Honeycomb face off against the second-generation iPad, which could be announced as soon as next month for spring release.
Android 3.0 is the first version to require dual-core functionality, allowing the device to perform multiple instructions at the same time, meaning it cannot be used as an upgrade for existing single-core devices.
"The expectation is that Apple should be able to have a multi-core solution in place in time for iPad 2," Enderle said. "But microprocessors aren't their core business, so there is a possibility they could miss this."
Sarafa said devices running Android 3.0 will roll out on additional devices according to the timetables of manufacturers. "Everything you see in Honeycomb is definitely the future of Android," he said.
Posted: 2011-01-16 @ 2:32am PT
Motorola, if you're reading this and if you're interested in really competing with the big guns which let's face it is Apple holding the fort on its own in all handheld devices. So when you release your motorola xoom (which sounds good on paper, but remember you have no market share compared to the Apple, that is precisely why you CANNOT F**K it up otherwise you will always play catch up and your already a year behind Apple).
Motorola don't be greedy, selfish, short sighted, ill advised and blind, you need a market share, you need to prove that your s**t works and want consumers to choose your XOOM over the ipad2 which could be possibly better.
But making the XOOM more expensive compared to something very good, tried and tested, a big brand and cheaper your literally sending the Xoom on a suicide mission. Wake the f**k up Motorola and price the device between £300 - £400 mark and you will no doubt change the market overnight.
I am large independant electrical retailer and throughout 2010 all my customers have basically been waiting for a product that can compete with the ipad head-on and will command a realistic price. i.e. a price below £400, as they believe that the ipad is good but too expensive for what it offers and a gimmick.
Apple's pricing strategy is very sophisticated and their price keeps them adrift of their rivals and gives them that designer brand appeal (the exclusivity) this ONLY works when you have a quality product and a loyal client base which Apple have and Motorola don't!!!
Motorola first you must learn to walk and then you may chose to run!!!
Posted: 2011-01-13 @ 6:26am PT
It is not true that Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) requires dual core.
This guy ought to know: http://twitter.com/#!/morrildl/status/22845294886518785
Posted: 2011-01-12 @ 4:55pm PT
I hear the arc of angels singing...3.0 too IPHONE2 or MOTOROLA'S "not known" on the horizon: I'm kind of sick of the motos late releases....