Motorola has released a brief video on YouTube teasing the introduction, at the Consumer Electronics Show in January, of a tablet computer based on Google's Android Honeycomb operating system.
The clip, titled "Tablet Evolution" and set in a museum, is a 1:36-minute history lesson of actual stone tablets, beginning with an Egyptian hieroglyphic tablet dated 3,200 B.C. and moving on to the Ten Commandments and Rosetta Stone.
When the teaser gets to the real message, it does so with competitive sniping at de facto standard tablet makers Apple and Samsung.
Motorola calls Apple's iPad a "giant iPhone" (iOS powers both devices) and notes that Samsung's Galaxy Tab is Android OS "for a phone."
The Tab is based on Android 2.2, which Google executives have acknowledged is not optimized for tablets. Even so, the Tab has sold more than 1 million units this year.
Motorola concludes its clip by having a honeybee buzz over a hooded display marked with the Motorola logo, hinting at the tablet.
The bee is most certainly an allusion to Google's next-generation Android 3.0 Honeycomb build. The video closes with the Motorola logo and the brief note-"CES 2011."
The company-which has bet boldly on Android as the flagship platform for its smartphones-said it will release both a 7-inch and 10-inch tablet based on Android.
It now appears ready to fulfill that promise in 2011, which is when Honeycomb is slated to appear on a number of tablets.
The obvious questions is whether the tablet Motorola will show off at CES is of the same ilk as the Motorola prototype Android creator Andy Rubin showed the audience at D: Dive into Mobile Dec. 6.
That machine had no hard buttons, relying on a virtual keyboard to show off the latest Google Maps 5.0 for Android application with 3D functionality.
Honeycomb tablets and the iPad 2 should set the stage for interesting rivalry in 2011. Piper Jaffray analysts said iPad will command 44 percent of the total tablet market by 2012, with Android -based tablets grabbing 39 percent of the market.