FIOS TV coming to a Motorola tablet this fall?

Regular readers of this blog are probably getting sick and tired of hearing me moan and gripe about the lack of shipping Android tablets. Trust me, I'm sick and tired of moaning and griping, too. Maybe you won't have to listen to me for too much longer. (No, I'm not going anywhere, but the tablets really will start arriving!) Yesterday afternoon the Financial Times ran an article about an Android tablet coming from Motorola. They didn't list their sources but did trot out a statement that Motorola CEO Sanjay Jha said last May: "We’re very focused on participating in this convergence between mobility and home, and I actually think you will see some products from us in a very short period of time."

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So what's so special about this particular Android tablet and how is that quote relevant? After all, we've heard from seemingly dozens of companies who claim they have a tablet coming out later this year. But Motorola, if the FT is correct, has something those other companies don't: a partnership with Verizon. Check out the synergy: Motorola makes set-top boxes for Verizon FIOS. Verizon, of course, offers 3G service. Add the two together and you get a 3G Android tablet that allows you to take your FIOS service with you wherever you go. Now that is a differentiator. For some people, Netflix is one of the killer apps on the iPad, but of course Netflix doesn't offer current TV offerings. Hulu Plus offers some but nothing compared to a full digital TV service like FIOS does. Presumably FIOS TV on the tablet would contain ads, just as it does at home. Whether or not that'll be a deal killer will probably depend on whether Verizon charges extra for the TV service. One would think that a customer paying Verizon for FIOS at home, and paying Verizon for 3G on her mobile device, might get that FIOS over on the mobile device for no additional cost. Or maybe that's just wishful thinking on my part. A few other details from the FT article. This will be a 10" tablet running Android 2.2, so it'll have Flash support and work as a mobile hotspot. It'll have two cameras (front and back facing) and will be thinner and lighter than the iPad. That's sounds pretty remarkable. No word on CPU, memory or ports. The best news? It could be out as early as this fall. One device that's a portable TV, an e-reader supporting multiple stores and that has access to all the apps in the Android Market? Now that's a tablet that could give the iPad a real run for its money!

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