In what seems to confirm the presence of a Google Android-based netbook, Bsquare announced May 6 that it will port “Adobe’s Flash Lite 3.17 technology onto Dell netbooks running Google’s Android platform.”
The Bsquare announcement seems to confirm what many have suspected for months: that Dell and other PC vendors are hard at work creating netbooks and other types of mini-notebooks that use the Linux-based Android operating system.
While an Android-based smartphone from Dell is expected for use in China this year, an Android netbook from Dell has so far only been speculated.
The Google Android operating system has proved enormously popular, and Hewlett-Packard, Acer and Asus have all said they were looking to build netbooks that run it.
Android’s success on smartphones has spilled into other formats as well. In addition to its G1 smartphone, T-Mobile plans to release an Android-based home phone solution and also a tablet-style PC.
Research firm Gartner estimates that worldwide shipments of netbooks will increase by 50 percent, to 7.8 million units, in 2009, while overall computer sales are expected to decline.
The Android OS, complementary to small form factors, is expected to grow as well; research firm Strategy Analytics expects it to gain 12 percent of the global smartphone shipment market share by 2012, as well as show growth in other segments.
Chinese computer maker Guangzhou Skytone Transmission Technologies was hopeful to be the first manufacturer to release an Android-based network, announcing on April 27 that it plans to roll out an Alpha 680 netbook running Google Android in three months’ time, for $250.
A spokesperson for Dell responded that Bsquared “erroneously mentioned Dell,” and that the news release is being recalled. “Dell does not offer an Android-based netbook,” she clarified.
Editor’s Note: This story has been modified to include a comment from Dell.