The Asus tablets unveiled at the CES show have been delayed until the third quarter of 2011 according to a report by the Inquirer.
Asus UK marketing manager John Swatton reportedly also told the Inquirer that Android 3.0 Honeycomb will not be featuring on the devices despite the revised six-month distant release schedule.
Asus provided presentation slides at CES initially documented a staggered monthly release schedule with the Windows tablets arriving in the first quarter and the Android tablet models including the 7-inch Eee Pad MeMO and the 10.1-inch Slider and Transformer Android tablets to arrive from March through to May.
As if these revelations didn’t pour cold water enough on the prospects of Asus tablets in 2011, the lack of phone functionality means that the devices will not be compatible with the official Android Marketplace, potentially paving the way for another proprietary vendor ‘app store’ along the lines of that provided by Samsung, Toshiba and Archos.
Android 3.0 Honeycomb’s hardware requirements are known to be more stringent and it’s entirely possible that Google is reserving the tablet operating system for devices with 3G phone functionality rather than allowing vendors to build their own Android 2.x devices on phone-less hardware but denying them access to the Marketplace.
Earlier this month Taiwanese manufacturers complained that smartphone manufacturers such as HTC, LG, Samsung and Motorola were being prioritised by Google in the development of Android 3.0 tablets. It’s possible that Asus are one of those vendors left in the cold while Motorola and LG unveiled firm plans for Android 3.0 devices to be launched on US mobile networks next quarter.