Despite being an Android tech site and Android enthusiasts even we can see that Android tablets haven’t made the splash we had hoped for in 2011. With over 100 tablets running some form of Android the tablet market started to quickly look fragmented with only a few clear stars, but mostly by enthusiast standards.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab, in all it’s sizes, is the stand out of Honeycomb tablets. Out of everything we’ve tested or bought we like the Galaxy Tab for entertainment and the Toshiba Thrive for productivity. Productivity is a big thing for me.
With this hodge podge of Android tablets that came out in 2011, Google’s Executive Chairman, Eric Schmidt has gone on the record and said that:
“In the next six months we plan to market a tablet of the highest quality,”
The Telegraph is reporting that Schmidt said this to an Italian newspaper yesterday.
More after the break
Google had their hands knee deep in the development of the Motorola Xoom. The Xoom was a nice piece of hardware except for the fact it didn’t ship with 4G/LTE on board and the marketing was way too sci-fi for the masses.
Google is in it’s third year of the Nexus smartphone program. The Nexus smartphone series are the “flagship” co-Google branded phones that stick to a true Android experience that is commonly referred to as Vanilla. The Nexus one launched in early 2010 in Google’s own online store. It quickly became the developer go-to phone.
The second incarnation of the Nexus was the Samsung Nexus S that came out at the very end of 2010. It was the flagship device for Android 2.3 “Gingerbread” it was also the first Android powered smartphone with NFC technology. Google debuted their “Google Wallet” service on the Nexus S.
This years Galaxy Nexus, also by Samsung, turned into a clusterf*ck with Google and Verizon battling over Google Wallet’s appearance on the phone. The Galaxy Nexus shipped without Google Wallet, however many developers have found a way to get Google Wallet on rooted and non rooted Galaxy Nexus phones.
Verizon Wireless came under scrutiny by Android journalists, and enthusiasts because the Nexus brand is supposed to be a true Google experience, without Google Wallet some felt it wasn’t the complete and true Google experience.
In the Android tablet world, for the most part, many OEM’s (Original Equipment Manufacturers), stayed true to the Honeycomb experience. HTC released the “HTC Flyer” early in 2011 however that tablet ran Gingerbread and a heavy version of HTC’s own UI dubbed “HTC Sense”.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab Google IO edition came out as a true Honeycomb experience. The first retail release of the Galaxy Tab was also pure Honeycomb however a TouchWiz update was issued late in the summer. In this case though we could definitely see the value in some of the TouchWiz enhancements especially at a consumer level.
With talk of a Google Nexus tablet we are hopeful that Google will stick to the Nexus strategy Andy Rubin outlined on the Google-Motorola announcement conference call. Rubin said that with or without Motorola under Google’s umbrella, all OEM’s will still have to basically bid on the Nexus smartphones. While Motorola did do the first Honeycomb tablet, hopefully Google will let OEM’s bid on the Nexus tablet hardware as well.