In mid-March, Andy Rubin stepped down as head of Android to start a “new chapter” at Google. In his place, Google appointed Chrome OS head Sundar Pichai. This led to some thinking that the Android and Chrome OS would cross pollinate, but Google has said the two products will remain separate.
The software behind Chrome OS and Android may remain separate, but a new report out of Digitimes suggests that Google may be launching Android notebooks in the third or fourth quarter of this year. Digitimes also speculates that Pichai is the one behind the move to bring Android to Notebooks.
Even if this rumor is true, it wouldn’t be the first time that Android has made its way into Notebook computers. A quick search of online retailers will bring up a number of cheap Chinese-made Android Notebooks that were made possible by Google making Android open source. There’s also pseudo-Notebooks, like ASUS’ Transformer Prime, that blurs the line between Notebook and tablet.
Like most of Digitime’s rumors, you should probably take this report with a massive grain of salt.Of course, there’s always the possibility that the next version of Android will introduce support for traditional computing environments, much like Android 3.0 introduced support for tablets. Still, it seems strange that Google would compete with its own Chromebook line by introducing Android notebooks.
If there is an Android notebook on the horizon, we might hear something about it at May’s Google I/O. It’s already rumored that the company will reveal the next Nexus 7 at the event, and an Android notebook reveal would not be out of place at an event where Google’s co-founder introduces a new product with skydivers.