Digitimes rumour mill says Chrome OS launch close at hand

Google own-brand ‘Nexus notebook’ in November?

Taiwanese industry watcher the Digitimes said that Acer and HP are expected to launch Chrome OS-based netbooks this month including a Google own-brand netbook in a move similar to the Nexus One smartphone.

Citing sources from ‘component players’ within the Chinese manufacturing industry, Chrome OS-powered netbooks may arrive sooner than previously thought according to the Digitimes. The site also pointed to a Google branded Chrome OS powered notebook to be manufactured by Chinese ODM Inventec, a firm that has previously manufactured hardware for Acer and HP.

The anonymous source also revealed that initial shipments were expected to be within the modest range of 60 to 70,000 units. The site claimed that the Google branded notebook would arrive in November while products from Acer and HP would follow in December “at the earliest” while netbook giant Asus sits tight “observing the market.”

Calling the light-weight ARM-powered notebook category “smartbooks”, the Digitimes quoted Taiwanese sources which felt that the first generation of smartbooks failed to gain traction due to immature hardware and software but the Apple iPad had done much to “change consumers’ thoughts about non-Wintel devices” which has paved the way for the smartbook category once again.

In the last week extensive rumours have emerged about a next-generation smartphone to be manufactured by Korean electronics giant Samsung, said to be similar to the Galaxy S. Dubbed the “Nexus Two” by press reports, a Samsung spokesman in Korea flatly denied the project.

Perhaps the real November Google hardware event will in fact be the Chrome OS powered ‘Nexus notebook.’

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