PC maker Acer has announced plans to develop a netbook running the Google Android operating system by the third quarter of 2009. While a number of companies have talked about building Google Android netbooks with ARM processors, it looks like Acer wants to stick with the Intel Atom CPU that it’s using in its existing Windows powered netbooks. Acer will continue to sell mini-laptops running Windows, but in a few months, we could see Android as a lower cost alternative on some Acer machines.
Asus, on the other hand isn’t talking about Google Android at all during this year’s Computex trade show. Which is funny, because a number of journalists stumbled upon an Asus Eee PC prototype built around the Qualcomm Snapdragon chipset and running Android at a pre-show event yesterday. So the company is clearly at least tinkering with the operating system. But speaking at a news conference yesterday, Asus CEO Jonney Shih said the company is keeping quiet about the netbook during the show, and that it’s “only a company thought” at the moment.
Of course, Asus also showed off a few thoughts at CES this year, including an Origami-inspired folding computer concept which the company later announced it would be moving into production. So I wouldn’t be shocked to see Asus make an official announcement regarding a Snapdragon/Android netbook in the not too distant future. But it doesn’t sound like we’re going to hear much more about it over the next few days.
Update: Acer Chairman JT Wang says this netbook will actually be a dual boot machine with Windows and Google Android.