Last year at Mobile World Congress during Eric Schmidt’s keynote address he spoke about slowing Android releases down. Android releases were coming in rapid fire succession, and while Honeycomb threw the schedule off a bit, the two phone releases, Gingerbread and Ice Cream Sandwich, had about a year of separation.
Google keeps the Android details lock and key for as long as they can. Of course we get rumors here and there, and then there’s obvious things like bowls of jelly beans at the Android booth-0-fun this year at Mobile World Congress, but concrete details rarely leak until one of the executives leaks them out.
Having said that, we’re not sure what is going to come with the next iteration of Jelly Bean, but at last year’s Mobile World Congress Keynote we all left feeling like not just Android 4.0, but future versions of Android would be compatible with both tablets and phones. This would mean we could get to a one annual release schedule, which ultimately slows down that awful F word, Fragmentation.
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So with that in mind a Fall release would make the most sense. Phone OS releases have been, for the most part in the fall, this puts them out just in time for the holidays.
Keeping all of this in mind, than what Hiroshi Lockheimer, Vice President of Engineering for Mobile at Google, said at MWC Tuesday will come as no surprise. When speaking with reporters from Computer World Lockheimer said that the release of the next version of Android won’t happen until the fall of 2012. He also hinted that no firm release date was in place.
Now, that doesn’t mean that at Google I/O in June they won’t formerly announce the next version of Android. That just means we won’t see a device with it running until after fall of 2012. As we said earlier, if Google is in fact issuing one version of Android for tablets and smartphones going forward, fall of 2012 is right on schedule.