Now this is one sweet piece of news, although rumored. Citing unnamed sources among Taiwan-based component suppliers, Digitimes stated that Google plans to release its next major iteration of the Android OS, code-named Jellybean, as early as the second quarter of 2012!!
The report further states that this move by Google could be in anticipation of Microsoft’s Windows 8 platform expected to launch in the second half of this year. Android 5.0 would supposedly be optimized for use on Tablet PCs, and Google plans to integrate its Chrome OS elements and include a dual-boot design. This means that a manufacturer could choose to only have Android 5.0 or Jellybean for the device, or add Android 5.0 to a Windows 8 device (or for that matter any other OS), giving the user the choice to run two operating systems on the same device. Through Android 5.0 Google is also supposedly looking at gaining some leverage in the Netbook & Notebook markets.
While all of the above sounds interesting, one more aspect that has been cited as a reason for the supposed rush to launch Jellybean, is apparently the slow adoption of Android 4.0 or Ice Cream Sandwich. Now this seems rather presumptuous at this point considering ICS has not been pushed out yet to the majority of devices, except a couple of tablets and the Galaxy Nexus. And with manufacturers currently working hard on preparing the update to 4.0, as well a bevy of handsets running Ice Cream Sandwich expected to be launched at the Mobile World Congress later this month, it seems rather unlikely that Google would push a move like this which will render Ice Cream Sandwich obsolete even before it has had a chance to make its mark.
Do you really think we’ll be seeing the next iteration of Android by mid-2012? If you were planning to buy a new tablet this year, would you go ahead and get that Transformer Prime right now, or wait for a few months to see if this bit is true? Let us know your thoughts in comments below.