Motorola has already given Verizon a couple of worthy iPhone competitors in its Droid and Droid X smartphones. The X especially has set a very high bar for smartphones in general and Android handsets in particular. As ZDNet's Jason Perlow pointed out today, though, Android tablets that can go head to head with the iPad have failed to materialize from major manufacturers or wireless carriers. If recent reports are to be believed, though, Motorola just might do it again with a 10" tablet in November.
Digital Trends reported today on an Android 3.0-based 10" tablet that may beat Dell, Asus, and others to market:
Although Motorola has yet to formally announce such a tablet, it did provide some hardware for a 7-inch tablet running Android at CES 2010, developed in partnership with Verizon, Nvidia and ICD....The so-called “Gingerbread” release of Android is rumored to bring with it a number a tablet-friendly features, including media streaming from PC libraries, a new user interface, and support for larger screens.
I, for one, can't get too excited about the tablet form factor. Too big to fit in my cargo shorts, too small to touch type (even if I could get really good at typing on a virtual keyboard), too big to hold up to my hear and make phone calls (assuming that someone decided to make a tablet that was also a phone, at least with a Bluetooth headset). It just never resonated with me. And yet Apple is buying more tablet displays than China can export because the iPad has been such an unequivocal success. Obviously, they resonate with somebody. Or several million somebodies.
So who's it going to be? Jason asked the same question and, regardless of my own feelings about tablets, I agree that it's an important one from an industry and competition perspective. Given their track record with the Droid, Droid X, and the upcoming Droid 2, my money is on Motorola to give us the first real iPad competitor.