Dec 15 AT 6:59 PM Taylor Wimberly 54 Comments

Rumor: Honeycomb will be released as Android 2.4 in February at MWC

Everyone knows that Honeycomb is coming to Android tablets sometime next year after Andy Rubin showed off his Motorola prototype, but many of the launch details are still unclear. When will Honeycomb tablets be unveiled to the public? What’s the release date of Honeycomb for other devices? What comes after Honeycomb? I don’t have all the answers, but an old source has shared some interesting information with me.

The Rumor

Honeycomb is the name for Android 2.4, not 3.0 like we have been reporting. The target release date for Honeycomb is February, around the time of Mobile World Congress.

The Source

The source is a developer working on 3rd party software for different versions of Android. They wish to remain anonymous, but I can say they have provided me accurate information in the past and I consider them trustworthy.

One Android Insider’s take on the rumor

Not every detail of every rumor report we have posted has come true, but I would hope that after reading several of them you all know there is some truth behind the stories I tell. If you think the things reported on this site are crazy, then you should see all the stuff that people send me which never gets posted.

Who knows what motivates these guys in the industry to share information with me, but I’m not that hard to find and many reach out to me. This source did not even want me to share which company he worked for, so he has nothing to gain by this information getting out.

Everyone believed that Gingerbread was going to be Android 3.0 and then it became Android 2.3. After that everyone assumed that Honeycomb would become Android 3.0 since it had a new user interface and features for tablets.

Motorola tablet

The "$10,000" Motorola prototype tablet that Andy Rubin recently showed off.

For whatever reason, it sounds like Google is holding version 3.0 for something special. You would think they throw 3.0 out their to make a statement when the first Honeycomb tablets launch, but I guess like most big Google launches those will be sort-of beta with some new features still missing.

We are expecting that Motorola and many others will finally reveal Honeycomb products in a couple weeks at CES, so it’s believable that Mobile World Congress could be the official date when Honeycomb is released to the masses.

Next year’s MWC 2011 is loaded with keynote speakers who happen to be CEOs of companies heavily focussed on Android. Notables include Google’s Eric Schmidt, HTC’s Peter Chou, and Qualcomm’s Dr. Paul Jacobs. Most analyst agree that NVIDIA’s Tegra 2 processor is the lead platform for Honeycomb, so it will be interesting to see what HTC and Qualcomm have been working on together.

Several insiders have told me that I didn’t want to miss the next Google I/O in May 2011 like there was something extra special planned, but have shared no further details. If Google is going to make Honeycomb into Android 2.4 and release it in February, then the Android 3.0 reveal could happen on May 10, 2011.

Possible Android 3.0 versions now include Ice Cream and Jelly Bean, which we know little about. Vic Gundotra, who normally gives the big Google I/O keynote, is said to be working on the Google +1 project (formerly Google Me).

What do you guys think about this latest rumor? Do you believe Google will use Android 2.4 and save 3.0 for something special later in the year?

As always, if you know more than I do and want to correct part of this story then just contact me or leave a comment so I can update it for our readers.

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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