Hiroshi Lockheimer, vice president of engineering for mobile at Google said the following to Computer world at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain: “In general, the Android release cadence is one major release a year with some maintenance releases that are substantial still.”
This would mean that since Android 4.0, nicknamed “Ice Cream Sandwich,” came out in November 2011,the next iteration of the Android OS (unofficially called Android 5.0 and rumored to be nicknamed “Jelly Bean”) could be expected for fall 2012.
It seems surprising that Google could be readying another major Android release, considering Ice Cream Sandwhich’s slow rollout. The Samsung Galaxy Nexus, which debuted alongside ICS last year, is the only device currently available to consumers that runs Android 4.0 right out of the box. Many popular devices from Motorola, HTC, Samsung and Asus have yet to receive their upgrade to ICS, and a few won’t ever get it.
According to Matt Burns at TechCrunch, “Ice Cream Sandwich is still in its very early stages of life [...] Hell, most flagship handsets from late 2011 won’t even get Android 4.0 until late spring or early summer – just months before Android 5.0 is said to launch.”
Although Lockheimer’s statements far from confirmed an exact release date for Jelly Bean, his words were not the first time in recent weeks that a 2012 Android OS upgrade has been teased. Earlier this month, Taiwanese publication DigiTimes claimed that Android 5.0 will launch as soon as April 2012 and will be a tablet-oriented OS. Digitimes said Google hoped to rush Jelly Bean to market because of slow ICS adoption and Google’s desire to beat Microsoft’s forthcoming Windows 8 OS to market.
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