Google plays favorites on Android 3.0 tablets

Motorola, Samsung and HTC to get first dibs, says report
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Taiwanese tablet ODM manufacturers have complained that Google has given priority to Motorola, Samsung and HTC in the development of Android 3.0 Honeycomb tablets, according to a report by industry watch site the DigiTimes.

Citing sources in the Taiwanese manufacturing industry, the DigiTimes report suggested that two factors contributed to Google prioritising the large smartphone vendors ahead of notebook and tablet ODMs.

Firstly the ability to manufacture the components in tablets directly, rather than relying on the commodity channel, and secondly the relative weakness of the ODM industry in software engineering.

These factors contributed to Taiwanese ODM manufacturer Compal being unsuccessful in gaining the cooperation of Google to develop tablets in 2010, the sources said.

It seems likely that virtually every manufacturer will want in on the act to build an Android 3.0-powered tablet but only the smartphone manufacturers tend to have fine control over the hardware components, software driver and even front-end software customisations.

In much the same way that Google developed earlier versions of Android with smartphone manufacturers such as HTC and Samsung, both having manufactured Nexus ‘Googlephones’ for the company, a deluge of cheap commoditised Android-platform hardware will surely follow hot on the heels of the first batch of brand-name tablets.

With the notebook category under pressure, it seems some of the ODM players aren’t keen to stand on the sidelines of the tablet goldrush.

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