Last week’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas saw a huge array of new Android devices. But we’ll be waiting a while before any of them hit Australian shores.
Android fans are used to being patient: there’s often a few months between a new OS update being announced and becoming widely available, and often much longer before that update is made available through carriers.
With hardware, the situation is even more unpredictable, given the need to negotiate deals with carriers — though you’ve always got the option of importing from overseas if you’re desperate for a particular phone or tablet. Here’s a roundup of the announcements that we know something about:
LG Optimus Black: Thanks to Seamus at our sibling publication Gizmodo, we know that LG’s major release for 2011 will be hitting our shores in May. No definitive word on a carrier, but it seems it won’t be an exclusive and will hit that familiar $49 a month price point if you’re prepared to sign up for a 24-month contract.
Dell Streak 7/Dell Venue: The official word from Dell on its larger-screened Streak and its Venue Android phone is this: “No launch plans have been announced in Australia, but we plan to offer a range of mobility devices down under”. Given that the existing 5-inch Streak model is sold through Optus, that seems the most likely venue for any new Streak model. It’s harder to tell with the Venue, given that there’s been no local launch scheduled for the Windows Phone 7-based Venue Pro (which sports a QWERTY keyboard, a segment of the market that’s not exactly over-crowded right now for either Android or WP7).
As for the rest — the Motorola Xoom and Atrix, the Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc, the Samsung Infuse 4G — it’s a case of “wait and see”, especially for tablets running Honeycomb. Most of those devices don’t even have fixed US release dates, so it’s likely to be a few months at least. However, we know Lifehacker readers love Android, so we’ll be keeping a close eye on all of them.