updated 03:55 pm EDT, Mon July 26, 2010
Google, Motorola get close to Android 3 devices
Android 3 is now believed to be in field testing as a check of online analytics has shown examples in the field. Some phones running the Linpack online benchmark have been caught running 3.0, 3.0.1 and 3.2. While the releases could use faked version numbers, they're believed to be examples of concurrent development which will branch out once 3.0 is finished.
The appearance supports notions that Google is advancing in its development of Android 3.0 and could have the OS ready in the fall. Among the expected changes are a more intuitive interface and likely support for upcoming services like Google Music.
Google's timing comes just as Rodman & Renshaw analyst Ashok Kumar claimed that Android 3.0 would be the heart of a Motorola tablet design. A 10-inch slate would ship in November preloaded with the new OS. Not much else is known, but it could be the rumored Verizon tablet and would have built-in 3G if so.
The device could be the first significant, mainstream competitor to the iPad in the US. Samsung's Galaxy Tab isn't yet known to have an American release, and most other competitors are newcomers such as ICD and Notion Ink.
Kumar also added color through a claim that Intel has completed its deal to buy Infineon's wireless business. He didn't name terms, but the takeover if unveiled challenge Broadcom's cellular chipset business and, to a lesser degree, Qualcomm's as well.