ASUS IS PLANNING to have its own app store because it can't guarantee its Eee tablets will ship with Android 3.0 Honeycomb and wants to ensure that its customers can download apps.
Like Toshiba and Archos before it, Asus is having to create its own app store because its tablets are not phones and therefore will not be deemed compatible with the Android marketplace that's run by Google.
Because Honeycomb's availability for Asus' products is in question the company's backup plan is for the tablets to ship with Andrfoid 2.3, Gingerbread, which is designed for phones.
While Asus told the world at the Consumer Electronics Show that its 10-inch tablets, the Eee Slider and Eee Transformer, and its 7-inch Memo tablet would ship with Honeycomb, the reality for UK consumers will be somewhat different.
Clarifying its roadmap to The INQUIRER Asus said that UK tablet enthusiasts can expect the Transformer to reach stores in the second quarter while the Slider will appear in the third quarter. Asus hasn't set a UK launch date yet for the Memo but it might be released during the second half of this year.
But those dates are for the WiFi versions only. Asus is expecting to release the 3G versions for UK consumers about one quarter later. So the Memo 3G tablet might not be here until 2012.
The Taiwanese company told The INQUIRER that more information on the prospects of an Asus app store, the situation with Android Marketplace and the likelihood of Honeycomb finally appearing on said tablets will be given in March at the Cebit show. µ
Sign up for INQbot – a weekly roundup of the best from the INQ