Apple might not have shipped quite as many iPads this quarter as some analysts had expected, but with over 4 million units shipped, the product launch was clearly a success. It’s not really clear yet whether this proves that world is ready for more tablets… or just that an Apple tablet has proved to be a very popular device. But that hasn’t stopped dozens of other companies for launching or preparing to launch competing devices.
Google Android has been the operating system of choice for companies building iPad alternatives. That makes sense since the operating system is cheap and open source, which means Google can’t really do much to keep you from installing it on any device you like — although the company has been pretty reluctant to grant access to the Android Market, Gmail app, and other tools that aren’t open source, saying that Android 2.x simply isn’t ready for tablets… but that future versions of Android would be.
Now the folks at DigiTimes are reporting that Google expects to ship Android 3.0 Gingerbread to partners for testing soon… and that engineering samples of Android 3.0 tablets could arrive in December, with companies expected to introduce Android tablets at CES in January. We expect to see Android tablets from Acer, Asus, MSI, and others, as well as an updated version of the Samsung Galaxy Tab.
Of course, that’s hardly surprising, since Asus, MSI and others actually showcased Android tablets at CES in January, 2010. It’s just that few of those tablets ever made it to market, although we are starting to see a number of devices from Chinese vendors as well as companies including Samsung, Dell, and Archos.
Still, I’ve learned to take most things DigiTimes reports with a grain of salt, since the site tends to be light on details and attribution for rumors like this.