Android is set to "explode" at the Consumer Electronics Show this week, with smartphones and tablet computers from Motorola, HTC and others out in force in Las Vegas.
2011 will be the year Google's Android operating system
"explodes" across the technosphere on smartphones, tablet computers
and other devices hardware manufacturers cook up.
Time for a level set: "Explodes," or some variation thereof, is
the dramatic euphemism people in the technology industry employ to proclaim
that a product is set for some super definitive growth. In this case, it's the
kind that blows RIM's BlackBerry and Apple's iOS smartphone platforms out of
Android fans will wince at the too-common use of the expression
"Android explodes." This is because it may be turned for mischievous
purposes to describe what an Android phone does when a user holds it up to his ear
or what an Android tablet does when a user swipes it with her fingers.
So "explodes" may be a tad rich a description, but if there is any
event that could signal that Android is ripe for hyper growth (Fortune
apparently doesn't see Android's rise to 23.5 percent of U.S. smartphone share
in 2010 as
"explosion" worthy), it's the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show. The
annual event commences in earnest Jan. 5 in Las Vegas.
eWEEK's Clint Boulton and Nicholas Kolakowski will be attending. Here is a
preview of a handful of Android-related announcements the reporters expect to
hear and see.
1) Motorola Android 3.0 Tablet
Motorola Dec. 20 issued
a video alluding to a tablet computer based on Google's
Android Honeycomb OS, which will be at least shown off at CES.
We believe Google Android honcho Andy Rubin teased
this tablet earlier in December, showing off the new 3D
Google Maps for Android.
An alternative to the sector-defining Apple iPad and Samsung's Galaxy Tab,
this will likely be a device to accompany Verizon Wireless' Droid line of
2) Samsung Galaxy Player
Speaking of Samsung, the company will likely make a few Android-related
announcements at CES, including a Google TV appliance and the Samsung Galaxy Player
The Galaxy Player runs Android 2.2; is powered by a 1GHz processor; and features
a 4-inch LCD screen, SoundAlive audio enhancing technology, WiFi, Bluetooth
3.0, a 3.2-megapixel rear camera with a front-facing camera for video calling, GPS,
HD video playback and a microSD card slot.
The Galaxy Player could be for Google's Music what the iPod was for iTunes.
The Google TV bit should be bold considering rival TV makers reportedly bagged their launches
at Google's behest.
3) HTC Thunderbolt
The HTC Thunderbolt, pictured here
by Droid Life, will be the first 4G LTE device
from Verizon Wireless. The gorgeous gadget resembles Sprint's HTC
Evo 4G, complete with a 4.3-inch touch screen, front and rear-facing cameras,
and Google and Verizon branding.
Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg will keynote
CES, where he could well unveil the gadget
The Thunderbolt introduction at CES will beat or be accompanied by the 4G
Motorola smartphone eWEEK wrote about Dec. 22
based comments Verizon COO
John Stratton made to the Wall Street Journal.
4) HTC Shift 4G
While we're on the subject, it looks like Sprint is set to unveil the HTC
Evo Shift, the company's successor to the Evo 4G, on Jan. 9, the last day of
CES. Android Central spotted this Radio Shack sign announcing the price
at $149.99 after a
If the sign rings true, Sprint will have a nice counter to Verizon's
Thunderbolt and as-yet-anonymous 4G Motorola Droid gadget next week.
5) ViewSonic Tablets
Dow Jones reported
that ViewSonic will introduce a hybrid Android-based
smartphone/tablet that can support 4G wireless connections.
The device will feature a 4-inch screen and let people make phone calls.
Sounds a lot like the Dell Streak, which isn't good news for ViewSonic, but
we'll reserve judgment until and if we get our hands on the device in Vegas.
Have we forgotten any phones, tablets or other Android gadgets? Perhaps, but
these are the ones our sources put stock in, so that's how we're rolling with
our expectations heading into the show.
Stay tuned for the Android "explosion."
Alternatively, for some more bitter tastes to balance out the Android sugar,
read Kontra's rant on Android
, as well as Royal Pingdom's reprise treatise
on Android application market fragmentation.