Honeycomb For High-End Tablets Only?

Just when you thought every and all tablets were going to eventually receive the highly anticipated update from Google, Honeycomb, it’s being recommended at this time that you don’t hold your breath.  Bobby Cha, a managing director for the Korean consumer electronics firm Enspert, has stated “Google’s new Android Honeycomb tablet OS will require a dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 processor to run properly“.  It looks like a dual core processor, like the one Nvidia produces, is at the very minimum, a requirement for honeycomb to run successfully on a majority of upcoming tablets.  This is especially disappointing to those of us who just forked over an arm and a leg  to purchase the Samsung Galaxy Tab, taking on a new two year agreement.  In addition, it’s also possible that a 1280 x 720 screen resolution might be hitting the requirement list for honeycomb too, although Cha has also stated that “Honeycomb does not require 10-inch screens…it’s going to go as small as 7 inch.”

Furthermore, it appears that we might be looking at some fragmentation when it comes to tablets as well and not just smart phones.  Thus, when one goes tablet shopping they’ll be confronted with two options.  They will have to choose a device such as the Galaxy Tab with a Cortex-A8 processor, Froyo 2.2 and 1,024×600 screen res or the Cortex-A9 device sporting the 1,280×720 res and Honeycomb, securing a spot, hopefully, for future updates.  I wonder if the average consumer will even be armed with this knowledge?  Doubt it.  Shall we even hint at the possibility that lower end tablets will never see anything above 2.1 or 2.2?  Thanks to Cha, eventually, no.  Cha provides a glimpse of hope when he says “with time, the Honeycomb requirements will embrace lower-cost tablets— not because the requirements will get lower, but because the parts will get cheaper.”  So, we’re not sure how long  “in time” is but we suspect it’s a while.  I guess we’ll have to see what CES brings us next week so we can affirm some things and put to rest others.  It’s definitely going to be an interesting event, and we’re sure we are going to see the tablet make its mark at the event and after.  As of now, we can probably be sure of one thing, we will most likely see only one device at the event sporting honeycomb and that is the Motorola Tablet, Andy Ruben’s pride and joy.  Feel free to let us know what you think in the comments below.  Are you disappointed about these requirements?

[via pcmag]

About the Author: Joe Sirianni

Joe was born in New Jersey and spent most of his childhood moving around from state to state. He eventually made his way to Pennsylvania where he met his Portuguese beauty and made her his wife. He now has three great kids and full access to all of the Portuguese food he can eat. Joe's love for mobile technology began when he bought his first Palm Pilot, a Palm M130 and left it on top of his car, driving off, causing it to smash into a thousand pieces. Forced to buy a new device, he quickly discovered that specs were changing so rapidly he was buying a new device every six months just to keep up. Since then, he has constantly felt the need to have the latest and greatest. When the "smartphone" revolution began and integrating cell phones and PDA's was the norm, he quickly jumped to Windows Mobile for several years until the first Android device was launched, the T-Mobile G1. Joe began appreciating all of the free utilities Google provided and sold his soul (his precious data) to Google long before they got into the mobile OS business. So, there was no hesitation at all for him to jump on board and ride the Android train as an early adopter. And boy has it been a blast. Joe now works in the Engineering & Operations dept for a major mobile carrier where he remotely troubleshoots cell sites and loves being an Editor for TalkAndroid.

  • Sorry but anyone who signs a two year contract for a piece of modern technology is naive to say the least.

  • Ryo

    Oh yeah?
    Is that like the “specs” leaked before Gingerbread saying you need 1GHZ cpu at minimum? And what wonder, there is no restriction.

    No someone says it runs only with a dual core “properly”. Whatever that means.

    The Galaxy Tab will be fine for 2 years+ on it’s release date.

    Well, I call the moaning of Bobby Cha bullcrap.

  • geolemon

    This seems very unlikely.
    It simply doesn’t follow the pattern of Android thus far. That’s not how Google builds it out.

    I’m running 2.2 on my G1 phone – that’s the first Android device EVER. And it’s faster and more responsive than ever.

    Even requiring a dual-core processor seems unlikely – that would be an inherent battery killer, and require extra coding to assign certain tasks to one core or the other. And you’d need a reason for doing it.

    No, I’m guessing instead that this Korean manufacturer rep spoke to one of his associates who was told that his products were too shoddy, and Google wouldn’t partner with them / wouldn’t let them join the handset alliance, and therefore they wouldn’t get the Android market, etc.. same treatment that every cheap Chinese manufacturer is getting.

    I think the reality is, Google is looking to take their image upscale, and trying to solve fragmentation issues, and is looking at Microsoft saying “Hey, that’s an interesting approach…”

    But I don’t think they’d make any moves that would potentially anger millions of Android-devoted… meaning current owners of Galaxy Tablets. Nothing good comes of making your users feel abandoned.

  • Dual Core Processors for mobile take less power now than single core, look at Tegra 2.
    I think, Google will make system for one specific configuration (Motorola Tablet with Tegra 2). For other hardware it will depend on manufacturer if he make drivers etc…. (look at optimizations for Hummingbird, they came after a year in Gingerbread)