Nov 07 AT 11:34 PM Taylor Wimberly 32 Comments

Google delays Transformer Prime release date to Dec for Android 4.0 update


Are you patiently waiting for the world’s first quad-core Android tablet? The always interesting Digitimes reports tonight that “sources from upstream supply chain” say Google is providing assistance to ASUS in order to make sure the Transformer Prime ships with the latest Android 4.0. Unfortunately, that means the official launch might be pushed back to December.

Digitimes explains that Google has cold-shouldered Taiwan based PC makers with Android software upgrades in the past and some of them are considering turning their focus from Android to Microsoft’s Windows 8. With Google reaching out and providing help on their customer’s products, it may help them gain more design wins over Microsoft.

I’m a little bummed that I might have to wait another month, but I’d rather see this device launch with Android 4.0 instead of it shipping with Android 3.2 and have an update “coming soon.” ASUS is expected to hold an event on November 9th so we should receive official word on the launch date later this week.

Via: @darkhorse166

Source: Digitimes

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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  • Sal

    /me explodes

    I couldn’t be more angry about devices launching with ICS. I’d rather them release the hardware NOW and update it later.

    • monkeydroid

      Companies ship outdated software and then take forever to update. This is not beneficial for customers to have an outdated version of Android in there hands at launch. Be patient. Google is trying to do things right this time.

      • Anthony Domanico

        Yeah, but ASUS has been amazing with upgrades.

    • drop

      I call it total bullshit.
      IF the pushback is real, it just means that Asus and nVidia are looking for an excuse for production delays.

      Why? In the current tablet business, time-to-market is key. You are trying to convince us that Asus is missing the Black Friday event ON PURPOSE? That is crazy.
      There at least 1 month of leadtime, because tablets need to be packaged and shipped to the US. If you need to reprogram the firmware of the boxed products, you loose a hell lot of time and money in the process, and you loose market shares.

      Changing the Android version is not something you decide over the week-end.

      • Jon

        You’re right about one thing, changing the version of Android is definitely something you don’t change at the last minute. They had to have all the boxes printed up by now, so on the box will it say in the specifications that it has Android 3.2? Will they put a sticker over it to change the specs?

        Google must have made it worth their while to wait and have ICS out the door. Google might have approached Asus right after Asus made the announcement that it would have 3.2, and Google saw how many people wanted the Prime by comments on sites like these. Everyone knew they had to make the Prime the first table with ICS since it was ready, and everyone knew they had to do it right. Reviews of the Prime will determine how everyone will view ICS on tablets. Case-in-point, Honeycomb. When it was first released, it got a lot of bad rep, and a lot of impressions are still from those first reviews, like Honeycomb feeling like a beta product. Google wants the first impression of ICS to be the best.

      • Kokusho

        No one cares about the black friday outside the US. And if Apple (and Blizzard) has teach us anything about business it s that you should release a product WHEN IT’S DONE, otherwise, It’s going to be trash by all the reviews and early adopters and it WON’T sell !

  • Me!

    To be honest, I’d rather have it sooner with Honeycomb and then be able to look forward to and be excited for ICS. Honeycomb for a month would hardly be the end of the world :)

    • Jeff

      Releasing now would require extra QA to test an update, to avoid potential update failures.

      • drop

        And you seriously think that Asus can roll out a new major release of Android in a few weeks of time, without doing some heavy QA ?? They just got their hands on the source code of ICS, and you think that in December they will deliver to retail stores a polished and tested tablet running Android 4.0 ??

  • coolbeansdude

    Smart move by Google. A couple of weeks isn’t going to hurt anyone. Google needs to collaborate with these OEM’s more just like MS is doing or else they will lose them. Not to mention the original transformer is probably the best selling android tablet to date. Quad core with ICS optimized with help from Google…. that’s sweet.

  • darkhorse166

    I’m okay with this – assuming that there’s real effort in this and that it means there’s a stable, good ICS experience with this tablet at launch. If it turns out to be a rush job and unstable, it would be better to stick with Honeycomb.

    Plus, NVIDIA hasn’t had the best of luck; they’ve had first-to-market Android tablets (Xoom) and first-to-market dual-core phones (Optimus 2X); neither of which was the sales success they would’ve liked, and the latter having serious reliability issues even until now. I only hope their Tegra 3 efforts actually end up in a good device, not one with software stability or user experience issues.

  • AsakuraZero

    i have the transformer, i have lots of asus products, and ASUS have a really good costumer service that or im a lucky one.

    the TF, have a LOVEABLE support from ASUS, samsung just becomes green from the Nvy which they have from asus and their support to the TF.

    the TF is the most up to date android tablet and the best supported.


    add the direct support from google with ICS, and what we get? a good dessert, now… i need to sell my TF…

  • Droid Dewd

    With Asus’ quality in updates for the TF this is a move in the right direction as speed doesn’t always mean good things. Patience with this will only ensure a higher quality product in the end. Google might have it right this time with delaying it.

  • Ish

    Personally, I’m aggravated by this news. I’ve been holding out for this one for almost two months and now might have to wait another month. I’d rather have ICS come in as an update rather than keep waiting. Especially after only being less than 2 days away from the “official unveiling” some of us have been waiting for. I’m all for Google working with Asus more closely on this one, especially since their original seems to still be the best one overall yet, but the timing is just awful. I’ve been wanting to update from my netbook for class to the Transformer (Prime) and might not bother if I have to wait until the semester is already over.

    • M3rc Nate

      True but you (and i) are understanding Android blog reading consumers that know the big picture and are fine with Honeycomb and a later update to ICS. However i would assume 80% of their Transformer Prime buyers wont be like us. People turned off by seeing it has a old OS version.

      Personally im fine with it cause i was probably going to wait till it shipped with ICS anyways just to make sure it was all good and working flawlessly with ICS.

  • Robert Hudson

    Might as well for windows 8 at this rate. Google should have jumped in months ago instead of waiting till now to embrace ASUS.

    • M3rc Nate

      Im not very knowledgeable on the subject but of the Windows 7 tablets i have seen, they have been more like $700-1000….i would expect they will be similar when windows 8. Or am i wrong and there will be competitively priced Windows tablets?

      • int19h

        Windows tablets are expensive because they have to be beefy to run Win7 or even XP. In addition, they have to be Intel architecture. Win8 has lower hardware requirements, and, most importantly, will run on ARM. So, yes, we should see competitively priced Windows tablets. For that matter, it may well be possible to install Win8 on Transformer!

  • steve

    i want that damn tablet and i want it NOW.
    makes me mad

  • himatech

    Any clue how many inches will it be?

    • Zhi Hao

      I’m pretty sure it’s 10.1 inches.


  • Mil

    I didn’t even know a release date was scheduled. As far as I knew, only an announcement date of 9th Nov was mentioned. Regardless, I for one would much rather have a more polished product being released than a half baked one early. I know Asus are pretty good with their updates but I’d rather have ICS on it from day 1. It’s a shame on Asus’s part though as they’ll miss out on a lot of xmas sales if they release so close to xmas.

    • whosaidwhat

      Yeah, I don’t think a release date was ever released. Just a launch date.

      People will complain regardless. Give them the old OS and they’ll complain, give them the latest software and they’ll complain.

      I want this tablet too and I want it tomorrow if possible but if Asus and google decides to install ICS before shipping it early December, then I’m okay with that too.

      • Anthony Domanico

        Several release windows have been given, though a single date has never emerged. First, it was supposed to come out in August, then October, then November, now we’re looking at December.

        • whosaidwhat

          By Asus? The only thing Asus has said publicly is that it will be launched on the 9th of this month.

  • CJ84

    This makes this device PERFECT! ics and a kal el are exactly what i want for christmas. The galaxy nexus being pushed back however just plain sucks. I havent been following this tab for that long so i guess it depends on when you started waiting.

  • djembeman

    I’m thinking this will be my first tablet. I really wanted the original but with all of the availability issues at launch, I never ended up getting one.

  • dcdttu

    What’s this you say? An Android phone/tablet has had a completely mis-managed and botched release process? Google / carrier is having trouble getting it out the door, despite excitedly announcing it?


  • Louis

    Beside the fact that google wants it to have 4.0, they are a little scared of samsung mobile executive trying to work a deal with microsoft.

  • WarDrake

    I say the speculation has run it’s course, we’re 24 hours away from the announcement by asus, let’s wait and see.

  • pritams

    Whe will I get mine..:(!?!?