Since 2010 took off, many a hardware manufacturer (mostly the smaller guys) have looked to Android for their tablet offerings. We’ve seen many highly-customized experiences (such as Archos’ offerings, the Dell Streak, and the newly-announced Samsung Galaxy Tab), but other manufacturers are perfectly fine with just slapping Android onto a piece of hardware and selling it for $200. Android’s agnostic nature has given everyone the idea that it can be put on anything, but Google says otherwise: it simply isn’t meant for tablets, just yet. (He specifically stated 2.2, but if Froyo itself isn’t meant for tablets, then I can’t imagine anything before it was).
They still do support some higher-end tablet offerings – such as the Samsung Galaxy Tab and the Dell Streak – by allowing those devices to use GAPPS and the Android market, but that’s because those manufacturers took the time to customize Android to play nice with apps not built for bigger screen sizes and higher resolutions (and because the rest of the device conforms to the standards needed to properly and fully license Android). We know Samsung was – at one point – contacting developers individually to fix their apps for their then-unannounced Galaxy Tab.
So we already knew all of this, sure, but will Google do anything about it? According to rumors: yes. Gingerbread is supposed to be the first step in blurring the line between tablet and phone, and Honeycomb is supposed to take us to a whole new level, but Google has yet to confirm anything. They did say they’re looking to provide a new distribution mechanism for the market in the future for app publishers to target tablet users specifically (with Google probably working with licensees to build a specific tablet version of the market onto professed tablet devices to avoid further leg work by application developers), but there’s no telling when that’ll happen.
At least we can say we’re a third of the way into September: bringing us that much closer to an October reveal of Android 3.0 Gingerbread where we’ll learn more about Google’s next move(s).