It took only 18 months for Android to overtake the iPhone in the smartphone market, at least according to some reports, and now several events in the past week foretell a similar invasion about to take place in the emerging tablet market:
- Marvell got a lot of attention in the blogosphere and in twitterville when they showed their prototype for an Android-based Moby tablet at the Netbook Summit on May 25th. Apparently reporters from Engadget had missed the earlier presentation of this device at the CTIA Wireless Show in March. I took the picture above at Pepcom's Mobile Focus event for press and analysts on March 23. The Netbook Summit discussion was followed by the news that the "One Laptop Per Child" project would be adopting the Moby tablet, which has a targeted cost of less than $100.
- During an investor conference with Barclay Capital, Motorola CEO Sanjay Jha hinted at a "7 to 10 inch" Android tablet that could be forthcoming as part of their relationship with Verizon Wireless and their DROID campaign.The tablet above, from Innovative Converged Devices (ICD) was shown in Verizon's demo of LTE technology at this past January's Consumer Electronics Show. This device is based on NVIDIA's Tegra processor. Since the tablet was shown in a display connected with a Motorola LTE modem, Fierce Wireless has attributed the ICD tablet to Motorola.
- Pre-announcements are out for next week's Computex Show in Taiwan. I expect numerous Android devices to be on display there. VIA Technologies, and their subsidiary WonderMedia have sent out announcements of a gallery of five Android tablets that they will be showing, including the Eken M001 and M003:
The wave of Android tablets should hit the U.S. market later this year. To be successful, the Android Market must be opened up to allow non-smartphone apps. Google has presented just that at the Google I/O Developer's Conference last week. Along with the development of Google TV and the release of Android 2.2 (Froyo), the presentation included an early peek at the ability to browse the Android Market from the desktop - with over-the-air download of applications and content.