Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google, recently spoke about large screen Android Tablets at the Abu Dhabi Media Summit keynote (at timecode 10 minutes and 39 seconds). It's a nice way of Eric Schmidt to indirectly confirm that Google is definitely going to support the development of Android based Tablets as alternatives on the market to the upcoming iPad.
When I say "phone", you might have a really big phone, like a phone about "this" big (he shows a size of about 10" diagonal for a tablet with his hands), also known as a Tablet, makes sense [to have] big screens (...) you are going to have them from many vendors including using Google's Android Operating System.
How soon until Google announces official Marketplace support for all Android Tablets?
Of all the Android Tablets which I have filmed so many of at the last couple months at CES, Mobile World Congress and CeBIT consumer electronics shows, none of the companies presenting those tablets were able to confirm if and when they might be allowed to include the Google Marketplace on those tablets officially supported by Google. As you may know, the Archos 5 Internet Tablet and any other currently shipping Android tablets around the world, none are yet officially certified by Google to include the Google Marketplace.
As you can see from my videos of the Archos 7 Home Tablet, the Hott MD500, the $199 Freescale powered tablets, Creative Zii Egg, Altina's 4.8" Android GPS Tablet, the Camangi Webstation, Forsa 7" Android Tablet, 1Cross Tech MIDhybrid, Hard Kernel ODroid and many many more which you can find at http://armdevices.net/category/tablets/, Android Tablets can be sold for cheaper, they can come with or without 3G, they may not come with capacitive but only resistive screens to save costs, they may not include cameras or even accelerometers. They instead bring higher resolutions, larger screens, more connectors and ports (such as built-in USB host, HDMI outputs..) and most importantly, Android Tablets can be sold at more affordable prices and be sold at retail stores without the need to signup for 2-year subscription plans with telecom carriers. Basically, the Android Tablets can occupy the market segments that go from the iPod Touch to the iPad.
Will Apple have a hard time selling as many devices and making as much revenues and profits in a market when dozens or hundreds of Android based competitors are going to be available for a lot cheaper prices and offer if not at least the same, then likely more features because of differentiation through free market competition? Android Tablets are likely to come with Flash support, HDMI outputs, USB host ports, hard drive storage options, storage expantion, Pixel Qi screens, removable batteries, video-conferencing, full video and audio codecs support, mass storage device modes not requiring iTunes to synchronize media files, open source and even open firmware software updates for the installation of alternative Android firmwares and even alternative Linux OSes including Ubuntu, Maemo, Angstrom. Can Apple compete with that?
Also check my (off camera) interview with Andy Rubin and Eric Schmidt about Android Marketplace on Tablets and Laptops from Mobile World Congress last month: http://armdevices.net/2010/02/22/i-interviewed-eric-schmidt-and-andy-rubin-at-mwc-off-camera-for-now-watch-eric-schmidts-keynote-video/
This following video starts at the correct 10m39s timecode when you click the play button, where you can see Eric Schmidt's above statement regarding Google's official support for Android Tablets:
You may copy and paste this embed code to your blog if you want the embedded video to start at that same timecode:
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