While large PC makers such as HP and Acer have talked about using the Google Android operating system in new lines of netbooks, it now appears that a Chinese company called Skytone is looking to deliver the one of the first Android-based netbooks in three months, according to published reports. The reports suggest that this netbook will cost about $250 and use an ARM processor.
While PC makers such as Hewlett-Packard
have said they are looking to build netbooks that use Google's Android
operating system, a Chinese company says it plans in the next three months to
release a mininotebook that uses the Android OS.
Guangzhou Skytone Transmission Technologies plans to release a netbook later
in 2009 called the Alpha 680, which uses Google's Android operating system and an
ARM processor and costs about $250, according
to published reports.
If true, this
netbook would show that Android is destined for more than just smartphones, and
are planning to offer users a wide range of different devices
built around the operating system.
The news of the Skytone Alpha 680 netbook was first reported in Computerworld.
So far, Android has been confined to smartphones and only those handset
devices that are on the T-mobile network. On April 27, Samsung
added to the number of handsets using Android and announced another smartphone
called the I7500.
When Google announced its quarterly results earlier in April, CEO
Eric Schmidt said the search engine giant was expecting Android to make a big
splash in 2009
and challenge other operating systems in the marketplace.
Schmidt's comments came just a few days after a Microsoft
employee wrote in a blog that more than 90 percent of netbooks run Windows XP,
although it appears that the Microsoft
executive was only referring to netbooks used within the United States.
is ready to dislodge Windows from the mininotebook market
is yet to be
seen. At a recent
event held to launch a new line of laptops,
Acer executives confirmed that
they had looked at the Linux-based Android operating system but said the OS was
not ready for the netbook or notebook market at this time.
That's not to say OEMs aren't interested. HP stated that it has begun
experimenting with Android. T-Mobile
is also looking to design devices that use Android.
For the $250 asking price, Skytone's Alpha 680 offers users an ARM
processor at 533MHz, a 7-inch screen, 128MB of DDR2
(double data rate 2) main memory and a 1GB solid state drive, according to Tom's Hardware.
netbook reportedly weighs about 1.5 pounds.
Since the netbook uses an ARM processor,
it is likely to resemble an MID (mobile Internet device) more than a larger
notebook computer, which means that the device is probably limited in the type
of applications it can run. The different reports on the Skytone device did not
indicate whether the company has an interest in using an Intel Atom processor
in future models, or even an x86 Via chip.
Earlier in 2009, Freescale
Semiconductor announced that it plans to offer platforms that use an ARM
processor in a series of netbooks
that act more like MIDs than laptops.
Freescale is also interested in offering devices that use Android.