Honeycomb tablets to support Flash by Aus launch

Flash available as a download

Aussies keen to get their hands on an Android 3.0 “Honeycomb” tablet like the Motorola Xoom may have to wait, but when they arrive Flash support will be available, unlike the popular iPad.

Adobe announced this week that Flash support is coming sooner rather than later and will be available as a download or preinstalled on Android devices.

Two big players in the Android space, Motorola and Samsung, both have Honeycomb tablets in production, but Motorola will ship its Xoom ahead of Flash support.

With most Android devices shipping Flash bundled with their firmware versions, the download option is good news for tablet owners.

If it wasn’t available as a download, Honeycomb devices may “support” Flash, but consumers would be forced to wait in the carrier’s Android upgrade cycle before they can use it.

Incidentally, some Android users have already reported getting Flash to work on their mobile devices by installing it separately.

Motorola’s Xoom goes on sale this week in the US from $600 with a mobile data contract, so it’s anyone’s guess what it might sell for here, but there is a good chance it will be available on a monthly subscription.

Locally, Motorola is “exploring the market”, but won’t confirm pricing or availability for the Xoom.

With Flash support coming soon it’s a safe bet than when Honeycomb devices do eventually arrive people will be able to install it.

Which local carrier will launch Xoom? Three guesses

While all three mobile carriers – Telstra, Optus and Vodafone – already offer some type of Android tablet (including their own rebadged models) it’s only a matter of time before they offer a Honeycomb-based device.

In the case of the Xoom, Motorola also hasn’t decided who to launch with.

If history is anything to go by, Motorola’s recent Android device launches have been with Optus and Telstra.

Last year Motorola launched the DEXT and BACKFLIP handsets with Optus and the DEFY with Telstra.

At Vodafone the Milestone 2 and FLIPOUT smartphones are available.

It’s worth keeping in mind that so far Vodafone is the only carrier not to compete with its tablet suppliers by only offering the iPad and Samsung Galaxy Tab.

However, with the Galaxy Tab 10.1 coming to Vodafone later this year, Motorola might be in talks with one of the other two.

The local tablet market is set for a big year in 2011 with the arrival of Honeycomb and the illusive iPad 2.0.

Follow Rodney Gedda on Twitter: @rodneygedda

Follow TechWorld Australia on Twitter: @Techworld_AU

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