If the latest news about Google's Android 3.0 "Honeycomb" OS is accurate, it might render Android tablets currently on the market -- like Samsung's Galaxy Tab -- obsolete.
PCMag is reporting that the tablet-centric mobile OS may require baseline specs to run properly. Of these, at least a dual-core ARM Cortex A9 processor is required, along with a 1280 x 720 minimum screen resolution.
The source of the information is Bobby Cha, managing director of Korean consumer electronics firm Enspert. His company is currently developing devices both for Froyo/Gingerbread and Honeycomb, because it appears that Google is following two "parallel software paths for tablets." Devices equipped with Cortex A8 processors with lower resolutions, like the Galaxy Tab, will continue to run Froyo/Gingerbread, while devices that meet the newer hardware specs will run Honeycomb.
Cha confirmed that the Motorola tablet that was seen running a prototype of Honeycomb would be the first Gingerbread device on the market.
Cha also confirmed that Honeycomb tablets would not require a 10-inch screen, and that there would be 7-inch tablets running the new OS.
But while Honeycomb would be exclusive to high-end tablets at first, that doesn't mean it won't find its way down the ladder as hardware prices drop.
"You're going to see price erosion on many of the components in tablets right now," Cha told PCMag. "Folks like Samsung, the industry heavyweights, are going to add pressure to the component guys to lower their costs. A tablet is still kind of an expensive toy."
Cha also noted that Honeycomb would be ready for manufacturers "towards the end of January."