Will Honeycomb require a dual-core processor?

Taylor Martin
 from  Concord, NC
| January 3, 2011

When we first heard a rumor that Gingerbread had minimum processor requirements, a lot of people panicked, and I'm sure a few even went as far as to return their shiny, new G2. We were even told directly from LG that the requirement did exist and their brand new Optimus line wouldn't be receiving the update. Shortly thereafter, LG was corrected and everyone could breath a sigh of relief.

I wasn't at all surprised when I saw a similar rumor that Honeycomb would have a minimum processor requirement of dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 either. On top of that, it is said to have a required resolution of 1,280 by 720 pixels, with displays ranging from 7- to 10-inches. To be honest, I wouldn't get too worried about it until Google does say something about it, or until Honeycomb is released. We're two more days away from CES, where we're supposedly going to meet Honeycomb face-to-face.

Another little tidbit that may help ease your nerves is the fact that exactly two months ago, Samsung India confirmed that the Galaxy Tab would receive both the Gingerbread and Honeycomb updates. I hardly believe they would make this claim before knowing hardware requirements, though it is prefectly possibile. So no, it doesn't debunk the rumor, but based on how rumors go and Android updates are typically developed, I just can't be led to believe Google would leave so many devices behind with their very next update.

Their newest developer's phone was just released under a month ago, running Gingerbread and sporting some of the latest and greatest in terms of technology. The one thing it lacks that some of the 2011 phones we expect to see do have is a dual-core processor. Wouldn't it be inconsiderate and extremely terrible planning on Google's part if they left their flagship device -- that they just released -- out of their major update?

If I heard Andy Rubin say that Honeycomb was going to be made specifically for tablets, I could believe the rumor. But that isn't the case. At D: Dive Into Mobile, Rubin stated that Honeycomb will be coming phones and tablets, and I don't know of any phones with 7-inch displays or 1,280 by 720 screen resolutions, do you? I know it will be quite some time before any phones see Honeycomb, but one of the benefits of having a Google developer device is first dibs on updates. I can understand a 1 GHz requirement this time around, as that would include most high-end devices. But I don't believe a dual-core requirement for a second, not until Google relieves all doubt.

One thing that Android developers are desperately trying to avoid is any more fragmentation. Leaving 90% of devices out of their upcoming update would be counterproductive at best. There isn't a lot of solid evidence supporting either side of this rumor, other than one Korean consumer electronics firm, Enspert, and they could be as right about Honeycomb as LG was about Gingerbread. I say leave the requirement claims to Google. In the meantime, let's sit back and see what CES has to offer without worrying ourselves over some claims that could be complete malarky.

Image via AndroidAndMe