Aug 11 AT 1:29 AM Taylor Wimberly 33 Comments

Motorola Sholes to launch with Eclair – Headed to multiple carriers (AT&T)

The Motorola Sholes has been a hot topic this week and people keep coming back for more info.  I’ve done some more digging and spoken to several sources with knowledge of the situation.  We are trying to verify the information and gather more details, but our tipsters have been reliable so far.  I think you will find the following details to your liking.

1. Sholes is the flagship device for Google’s release of Eclair (Android 2.0)

I have hinted at this possibility in other articles and now more sources are beginning to confirm it.  The upcoming Eclair branch is likely to be labeled Android 2.0 and make its debut on Sholes when it launches for Verizon later this year.  It appears the combination of Eclair and Sholes is a significant upgrade and Google is ready to use the Android 2.0 label.

I’m cautious using the name Android 2.0 after all the Android engineers told us repeatedly that Donut is not Android 2.0.  However, we know two more Android updates are coming this year and a recent interview with Andy Rubin cited Eclair as Android 2.0.  Multiple sources have continued to say that Sholes is built for Eclair so it appears the pressure is on Google to deliver.

We also told you the Sholes would be a mobile gaming powerhouse and this still appears to be the case.  The Sholes is highly optimized for the new ARMv7 architecture of the OMAP3430.  Sources tell us Sholes will make extensive use of the NEON instruction set found in the ARMv7 architecture. This will allow an increase to DSP and media processing throughput by up to 400 percent, and offers improved floating point support to address the needs of next generation 3D graphics and games physics.

“ARM NEON technology is an architecture option with the ARMv7A architecture and is designed to address the demands of next generation high-performance, media intense, low power mobile handheld devices. NEON technology is a 64/128-bit hybrid SIMD architecture, developed by ARM to accelerate the performance of multimedia and signal processing applications including video encode/decode, 3D graphics, speech processing, compressed audio decoding, image processing, telephony and sound synthesis.”

2. There is a W-CDMA(UMTS) version of Sholes in the works

Verizon will get first dibs on the Sholes phone, but it is set to come to multiple carriers.  Our source tells us a UMTS/W-CDMA version is already in the works and almost to appear on AT&T. W-CDMA is the same technology that T-Mobile uses for their 3G network so they remain a possibility as well.  These other versions of the Sholes are likely to come a bit later(2010).  The UMTS version will also hit several carriers worldwide.

3. A touchscreen only version of Sholes is also a possibility

New information we received also suggest that a trimmed down version of Sholes is being developed.  The physical keyboard will be removed in favor of a more streamlined device.  Hardware tweaks will include several upgrades like an 8 megapixel camera.  From what we know, it is scheduled for release in early 2010.

p.s. keep an eye on the site for new info on android 2.0 over the next few days

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

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