This is not good news at all, really: Honeycomb to Require Powerful Processor, Screen: OEM
Google’s new Android Honeycomb tablet OS will require a dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 processor to run properly, said Bobby Cha, managing director of Korean consumer electronics firm Enspert.
That means that many existing Android tablets will not be upgradeable to Honeycomb, as they lack the processor necessary to meet the spec. Currently, Nvidia’s Tegra 2 platform is the only chipset in products on the market to include a Cortex-A9, although other manufacturers have said they’re moving to the new processor architecture for 2011 products.
A 1,280×720 screen resolution may also be necessary, although Cha affirmed that “Honeycomb does not require 10-inch [screens] … it’s going to go as small as 7 inch.”
Even though we’ve yet to get Froyo (2.2) stable on a rooted NookColor, and there’s still Gingerbread (2.3) after that, this additional hardware strength requirement brings up a very interesting dimension to Barnes & Noble’s NookColor.
A NookColor is basically a device for reading books.
Book reading really doesn’t require a fire-breathing processor (right now). ePub files are basically tarted-up text files. There’s no need for massive power just to turn pages, take notes, or do highlighting.
Ah, but Barnes & Noble is going to do a NookColor App Store.
And that means there’s going to come a point where devs won’t be able to port their work to NookColor down the road due to inadequate hardware.
Sure, this could be another year away, but: Barnes & Noble has unknowingly entered an arms race here. People already see the NookColor as an Android tablet. Once owners of the un-rooted NookColor can buy apps, they’ll begin to see it more that way too.
Which puts Barnes & Noble in the somewhat strange position of having to compete outright with other Android tablet manufacturers despite offering something that is targeted for simple reading.
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