LG’s Optimus Pad has been touted and spotted almost continuously in the past month. But the Korean mobile-maker’s decision to overlook Froyo for future versions of Android means the slate is likely to pushed back until next year.
So, has it made a wise and bold move for the long term? Or is it shooting itself in the foot as key rivals Samsung and Toshiba get their efforts to market?
While the news hasn’t been officially confirmed, an insider has told Reuters: "We plan to introduce a tablet that runs on the most reliable Android version. We are in talks with Google to decide on the most suitable version for our tablet and that is not Froyo 2.2.”
The suggestion on the web is that the LG tablet will now make its debut at CES in the first week of January. That means that it will miss out on some much-needed shelf time ahead of Christmas, when the Galaxy Tab will doubtless sell well and push the iPad hard.
However, a CES launch, if handled well, could create the kind of buzz which a standalone launch could not muster.
With all the world’s tech press assembled, a well put-together slate, perhaps the first to rock Android 3.0 Gingerbread, could follow in the footsteps of the Palm Pre and be the gadget everyone at the show must see and therefore readers and viewers must own.
Mind you, LG will need to do a better job than Palm when it comes to getting its flagship gadget into the wild. And Palm will be back at CES with its PalmPad, which will doubtless give the LG Optimus Pad plenty of competition.
So why is the delay a good idea? Well, Google hasn’t been shy in saying that it doesn’t think its current iteration of Android isn’t built with tablets in mind. This has come on the back of the Galaxy Tab, which does look good, but won’t have full Android functionality, the market being hampered from launch.
Yes, an update to 3.0 will arrive, but seeing as upgrades to Google’s OS seem to take an eternity, LG appears to have made a good call in choosing to have Gingerbread on board from the get-go.
By waiting for a new version of Android for its tablet, LG has also recognised that it’s better to get a killer gadget out there, rather than releasing something that’s hamstrung and requires a software update immediately to make it realise its full potential.
Of course, this also piles the pressure onto LG to make something stunning and way ahead of other tablets out there. That’s a tall order, but it’s a challenge that’s far more interesting than unleashing something not quite primed for the shop floor.