If you’re Asus, a company that is already starting to gather a strong following in the Android community because of their Transformer tablets, how do you go about launching an Android phone, too? You go big – quad core Tegra 3 + Android 4.0 big.
If Asus manages to create a solid smartphone, with nice design, that is the first or one of the first phones with Tegra 3 and also Android 4.0, and on top of all of that, it comes with an innovative approach regarding the integration of smartphones and tablets, they could have a winner from day one. The blogs and tech sites would not stop talking about it once they have it for review.
I was hoping the same kind of combination of Tegra 3 and Android 4.0 would happen with the Transformer Prime. It would’ve made it so much more interesting. But it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen, and instead it will arrive with Honeycomb, which means the hardware itself will have to stand on its own.
It could be a very different story with the Asus Padfone. Android 4.0 will be open sourced in a few weeks, and Asus might already have access to it, just like they did to Honeycomb. And both the Padfone itself and Tegra 3 were scheduled for Q1 2012. This means Asus has enough time to launch the Padfone with Android 4.0, which has already been officially confirmed, and also with Tegra 3.
Why this makes sense, is because first of all, we’re going to see quad core Tegra 3 smartphones in 2012 anyway. Tegra 3 phones are coming whether you are ready for them or not. It will bring longer battery life due to its companion core, and more maximum performance due to its 4 high performance cores.
Second, Asus is very good with using the latest tech in the devices, as has been proven by the Asus UX21 laptop, one of the very first ultrabooks, and will be proven by Transformer Prime, too, which will be the first Tegra 3 tablet/hybrid device.
Third, it makes perfect sense for a phone like the Padfone to take advantage of the unification of Android in version 4.0, and show you the tablet mode, just like Atrix should’ve worked from day one, rather than show you a completely different OS. It remains to be seen if that whole concept will be popular with consumers, but what I’m saying is that it makes sense from an integration point of view. That means that if you want a “quad core tablet”, then you’re going to need a “quad core phone”. And that’s reason number #3 why it makes sense for the Padfone to have Tegra 3.
I like that Asus seems to get the strategy right in general, and they are thinking about entering the smartphone market in a pretty big way. Even if this phone will not be totally mind blowing, I expect Asus to continue to push with even better phones in 2012 and beyond.