Mar 27 AT 11:54 AM Taylor Wimberly 33 Comments

Android Rumors Report: Google Drive, Jelly Bean, Nexus tablet, T-Mobile raises prices


Welcome to another new weekly column where we round up all the Android-related rumors and discuss the validity of each one. Everyone seems to love our original rumor reports, but we thought it would be fun to examine the rumors from around the web and share our thoughts on the possibility of them coming true. Read on for this week’s latest Android rumors.

Google Drive finally coming this April

Leaked Google Drive logo.

Rumor: Om Malik of GigaOm reports that Google Drive will launch sometime during the first week of April.

Our thoughts: Rumors of Google’s cloud storage service go all the way back to 2006, but we know the service is currently in testing because the first screen shots were leaked in February. Om has been in the business for a long time and we trust his sources, but it’s always hard to pin down an exact release date for Google products. We think a Google Drive launch is pending, so an April release sounds likely.

Probability: 80%

Jelly Bean to launch in Q3

Rumor: Taiwan newspaper Digitimes reports “Google may release its new platform, Android 5.0 (Jelly Bean), in the third quarter of 2012.

Our thoughts: Based out of Taipei, Digitimes often has access to information from supply chain sources that are based in Taiwan. We are fairly confident that the next version of Android is codenamed Jelly Bean (as first reported way back in 2010), but we don’t know what version number Google will assign to it or when it will launch.

The popular belief is that Google will unveil the first details about Jelly Bean during their Google IO conference on June 27-29th. Google always talks about the future of Android during this show, so that’s pretty much a given.

Right now we believe there are two options. First, Google could announce that Jelly Bean is a minor update, call it Android 4.1 or 4.5, and immediately release it for their Nexus line of phones and tablets. Second, we could learn that Jelly Bean will be a major update, be called Android 5.0, and be released in Q4 on the next flagship device.

Google has a pattern of releasing one major update to Android every year, so we still expect Android 5.0 sometime in Q4, but there is no way to know if that is Jelly Bean, or the next version codenamed Key Lime Pie.

Probability: 50%

“Nexus tablet” to be given away at Google IO

Rumor: We speculate that Google will give away the ASUS “Nexus tablet” to every attendee of Google IO.

Our thoughts: Every year Google gives away a free Android device to all the attendees at their Google IO developer conference. Three years ago it was the Google Ion (HTC Magic), two years ago it was the HTC EVO 4G, and last year it was the Galaxy Tab 10.1 and Samsung Chromebook.

This year we believe they will give away the rumored 7-inch “Nexus tablet.” Android chief Andy Rubin recently said, “2012 is going to be the year that we double down and make sure we’re winning in that [tablet] space… we’re going to do a better job at making people understand what ecosystem they’re buying into.”

Combined with the new Google Play Store, this Google tablet fits into the “double down” tablet strategy and it will further evolve the tablet ecosystem with a focus on more optimized apps.

Another possible giveaway device could be the rumored Android Hub (or maybe it’s called Play Hub now?). Google just filed a new trademark application for Showy, which is described as “Downloadable software which allows users to use their computer, tablet device, or mobile phone as a remote control to operate video display devices and televisions; and downloadable software which allows users to remotely control the content on internet-connected digital signage.”

It sure sounds like the 7-inch tablet and home entertainment system will be tightly integrated, so maybe both will be given away.

Probability: 75%

Samsung Galaxy S III to be launched this weekend

Rumor: Multiple sites report that Samsung could unveil the Samsung Galaxy S III on March 30th after Eurodroid spotted a Samsung teaser in the window of retailer Phones 4U.

Our thoughts: Another week, another rumored unveiling for the Galaxy S III. Last time it was a Samsung event in Africa that turned into a TV announcement and now this.

Stuart Miles of Pocket-Lint already debunked this rumor. It turns out Phones 4U is opening up a Samsung store-within-a-store on March 30th.

Probability: 0%

T-Mobile to raise prices next week

Rumor: David Beren of TmoNews reports that T-Mobile will raise prices on Classic Unlimited 5GB and 10GB data features beginning April 4th

Our thoughts: We only call this a rumor because it’s not officially confirmed by T-Mobile, but we believe this to be true. As David points out, this is an “obvious move to drive customers into the hands of waiting Value Plan opportunities.” T-Mobile’s Value Plans save their subscribers money because the cost of the subsidized phone is not part of the monthly service fee. Customers have to pay the full price of the phone up front, or over the course of 20 months, but they save money over the life of the contract.

Probability: 99%

Got any juicy rumors?

Find any hot Android-related rumors that we failed to cover? Just contact Taylor or leave a comment below and we will evaluate them next week.

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

    Most Tweeted This Week

  • Anthony Domanico

    “Everyone seems to love our original rumor reports”

    I can think of one person who doesn’t. (Hint: It’s not me).

    • Slith

      Not it!

  • OnIn2

    At the risk of sounding like a broken record, the Android OS update system is broken.

    Only a small percentage of cells are on ICS and Google is about to announce Jelly Bean ?
    Can I jump from GB to JB ? LOL

    • PacoBell

      Probably not unless the OEM is willing to code the kernel drivers for it, which isn’t likely. Long-term support just isn’t profitable. Maybe the OEMs should have an extended warranty service to fund exactly that kind of work? That way, the customers who REALLY want their upgrades could get them. Then again, I’m not sure there would be the critical mass of capital as there are relatively few of us geeks compared with the general populace.

      • Arthur

        No, I think it’s just expectation. The common user comes from a past when we think of phones as static devices.

        When people realize smartphones are more computers than phones, things will change. Well, it’s changing already… we are passing through a time similar to the beginning of computers. Anybody here old enough?

  • spazby

    love the rumors!!!

  • Alan Reboli

    Whatever happened to google moving to a yearly update model?

    • Jayayess1190

      ICS will be a year old by the time JB comes out.

    • Taylor Wimberly

      I think that’s still the case. One major version update per year. But that doesn’t mean that every dessert codename has to be a new point release.

  • thaghost

    I want a Nexus Tablet!!

  • westy

    I just want them to update the Galaxy Nexus to 4.04 or 4.05 and fix the bugs such as the slow screen rotation,the multi- touch bug, reboot issues, text draft issues, slow landscape keyboard typing, to name a few. They can do that and ill be happy.

    • Taylor Wimberly

      Covered that last week. It’s now supposed to happen in April.

  • Futureboy

    I’ll take that 80% probability on Google Drive. For me, it can’t come soon enough!

  • aranea

    It’ll be great if they give nexus tablets at the IO. I wish my job also took me to places like this.

    On another note, I’ll be disappointed at motorola if JB is released before my phone got ICS.

  • WlfHart

    I’d be happy to see the Galaxy Tablet come June. Not because I’m lucky enough to go to Google I/O, but because with any luck their release at the event will mean release in stores around the same time! (I hope)

  • AsakuraZero

    google drive another google service NA only.. 75%

  • Max.Steel

    Yeah, let’s bring out jellybean when less than 4% of the population is running ics. What a joke.

  • geiko

    Google has a pseudo yearly cycle. One year is major, and the other year is minor. It’d be a disaster if the next Android version was a full increase and not a .5 or so increase. Even if everyone quickly jumped on board for this update, it would completely undermine the last year and everything would have been a waste, save for Galaxy Nexus owners. Since ICS is still not completely out yet, and since many of the premier phones will have an ICS update pushed out by IO, I’d imagine that Google will either only do a minor update at the time, but still showcase some features.

    I’m pretty sure the focus of this I/O will be tablets and Google TV. Sure, they’ll have something for all their major products, but I think those will be the focus. Google is in a very tight situation right now. They’re far behind Apple, with Microsoft coming up behind them trying to get back in second place. If Google is unable to hold their current position and show that it can hold it’s own, things can get ugly. As it is now, Microsoft is set to release the Nokia Lumia 900 for $100. I would buy that phone in a heartbeat if it were on T-Mobile. Lucky for me, I don’t have to think about it. Google has severely messed up on several fronts, but nothing is worse than the updates for Android. We thought they solved it last year, but not only have things not change, but they’ve actually gotten worse.

    Great article, and keep up the good work. I love all the new weekly featurettes. Keep them coming.

    • Nate B.

      It should simply be only a nexus phone or one big flagship phone from every carrier that’s future proof with hardware. Its the oems fault not google. You think google should slow down because other companies want to take their sweet little time? They should of focused on one flagship do they could get it updated & stop pumping out so many phones that honestly didn’t differ from the phone that came out 6 months before it.

  • cola

    Just curious, where does Google IO take place? California?

  • Nathan D.

    I like these group rumor columns they are always so fun to read :-)

    • Taylor Wimberly

      Send any new rumors you read our way so we can keep it going.

  • Lucian Armasu

    I’d prefer they released their major version of Android at Google I/O. The buzz can be a lot greater then, and the event will be done a lot more professionally, than those 30 minutes events done in fall in some random places.

    They also need to release Android 5.0 this summer if they want it to compete with Windows 8. First by putting it on a phone and tablet at release, and then by allowing the other manufacturers 2-3 months to upgrade to it themselves before the Windows 8 launch.

    Releasing Android 5.0 in October or November is a mistake.

    • Taylor Wimberly

      The more I think about it, do you really believe Google will push out “Android 5.0″ when the majority of devices are still on Android 2.x?

      • Eli

        I was always the type who said “fragmentation” was never a real problem, but now I’m really starting to get upset with these companies. Luckily I’m a GSM Galaxy Nexus owner, so I’m at least up to date, but this is getting kind of ridiculous,

        The main thing that bugs me is that even though I’m getting sick of it, there are still no better alternatives. WP7, lol. And iPhones? it wouldn’t work, My whole life is part of the google ecosystem already.

      • delinear

        This is going to be a huge issue for Google if they do intend to go the root of a major point release every year. You are 100% correct that releasing Android 5 when the majority of users are stuck on Android 2.* is going to be a major embarassment.

        Obviously that makes it sound one worse than it actually is, since 3 was tablet only, but even so it means they’ll forever have the situation where users still within their 18/24 month contracts are seeing a new point release two points higher than their current release (i.e. when 6 comes out most people will still be stuck on 4).

        Single biggest issue Google -has to- address as soon as possible, yet the one measure they did start to try and tackle this (Update Alliance) has vanished without trace. That’s not promising…

  • itguy426

    I think it is a pretty cool way to cover the rumors. I like the format of how it is done. The probability is something you don’t see on other sites and kind of makes this a more unique way of putting rumors out there.

  • netpacq

    I am shocked that no one has rumored the next version of Google TV.

    My bets for Google I/O are:

    Sony Viao Chromebook
    Google Play w/Google TV
    ASUS Nexus Tablet
    A new phone
    A focus on Google Drive for all these devices

  • delinear

    For a second I thought Google Drive was the self driving automated car system they’ve been trialling. Now that would have been something!

  • Jose G

    Dropping JB might be a good thing if the Nexus tablet takes off. It might force the release of ICS to all other phones also. However, Nexus phones not having the latest updates will not be cool. It will make Google look bad even if its not their fault.


    rumors drive the truth. keepem coming

  • Josh

    Hi Taylor!
    Great post. Can’t wait to get my hands on Google Drive.
    What do you think about Vtab1008?