Tablet vendors won't ship products until late this year

Vendors are unlikely to ship tablet PCs until the end of this year due to a lack of content supply – and because Google’s Android 3.5 OS is not likely to be released until the beginning of next year.

Smartphone makers such as Samsung Electronics, Motorola and RIM will be more aggressive when it comes to launching tablet PCs to compete against the iPad, while PC makers will take a cautious, smaller step into the market, reports Digitimes.

Hewlett-Packard (HP) is currently focusing on developing a Web OS-based tablet PC, while some PC brands are considering skipping Google 3.0 (GingerBread) and will adopt Honeycomb directly, the sources said.

Although notebook makers such as Compal Electronics and Pegatron Technology have already had some tablet PC orders from first-tier brand vendors, most of them are still not yet shipping. Instead, the makers are currently turning their attention to small shipments to white-box vendors and telecom carriers.

The sources added that the mass shipments of tablet PC from first-tier PC brands are unlikely to start until the second quarter of 2011.

Google recently announced that its Android 3.0 operating system (OS) will soon be completed with the related tablet PC engineer samples set to show up in December.

Brands such as Acer, Asustek Computer and Micro-Star International are all expected to launch their tablet PCs in January, 2010 at CES, while Samsung is also expected to showcase its Android 3.0-updated Galaxy Tab with HTC and Motorola displaying their models.

And the competition could heat up later on in the year with Google set to launch Android 4.0 in the second half of 2011. This, the sources believe, will mean the giant will gradually increase its share in the iPad-like tablet PC market after the launch of Android 3.0.