updated 09:40 am EDT, Mon March 28, 2011
LG may craft official Nexus Tablet for Google
An assertion from well-known leaker Eldar Murtazin would have LG tapped to make the official, reference Android 3.0 tablet. Called the Nexus Tablet as a placeholder, the design would show up sometime in the mid-summer or early fall. It might not necessarily be a publicly available, Mobile-Review said, implying that it may be an internal testing device.
Many had assumed that the Motorola Xoom was the reference model as it has both the stock OS and an unlocked bootloader to allow freely customizable firmware. It's going in "another direction," Murtazin said. HTC had been ruled out since it wasn't interested and was working on Sense for devices like the Flyer and Evo View 4G. Samsung was determined to beat the iPad at all costs and wouldn't necessarily be willing to make a stock tablet in the future.
An LG version would likely end up being a variant on the Optimus Pad, known as the G-Slate in the US. A Nexus Tablet equivalent would likely have to drop the 3D camera support but could otherwise go largely unchanged from the 8.9-inch, dual-core Tegra 2 model about to reach multiple countries.
Simultaneous with the rumor is talk that Google is preventing manufacturers from upgrading any Android 2.x devices to 3.0. Reflecting its decision not to share 3.0 source early due to the lack of phone support, the company requires that OEMs reach a separate licensing deal and makes them launch with 3.0 from the start. The move would lead to the HTC Flyer shipping in most countries with 3.0 already installed. If true, however, it could also lead to early Flyer and Evo View 4G buyers being trapped on 2.3 or similar for the rest of the device's life.
Its move would be harsh but would likely be meant to prevent a rash of poor experiences with Android 3.0. Many companies eager to piggyback on the iPad's success rushed out Android 2.x tablets that either don't have enough performance to run Android 3.0 or had their hardware and software interfaces designed solely around the older OS. The dual-core Tegra 2 is considered the semi-official baseline for Android 3.0, and future devices may need either a fast single-core chip or future dual-core chips to work smoothly.