NVIDIA chief Jen-Hsun Huang in a conference call tonight to discuss fiscal results was ready to note that Google had slipped back in tablet development compared to Apple. He thought that the work Google had done on optimizing Android for tablets and future smartphones was "really amazing" but mentioned twice that the company was a "little bit behind" in bringing it up to par with the iPad. The finished work, which would often focus on NVIDIA's dual-core Tegra chips, would help Google, NVIDIA and their partners catch up.
"Now it’s going to take something absolutely great to compete against the iPad and the iPhone, as we all know," Huang said. "Because both of those devices are quite amazing devices. And so it’s going to take something that is truly remarkable to compete against it. I think Andy and his team, and all of our engineers here working with them, and all of our partners around the world working on it, are going to absolutely deliver."
The CEO's remarks followed after much of the Google and NVIDIA tablet plans for the year had been delayed. Companies like Compal and ICD had been showing Android tablets using Tegra 2 hardware as early as January, but the first mainstream Android tablet didn't arrive until the Samsung Galaxy Tab began reaching Europe in September. NVIDIA's first significant Tegra 2 tablet, the Toshiba Folio 100, just began shipping last week.
The nearly year-long interval let Apple announce, ship and record high sales for the iPad, which as of the summer had 95.5 percent of the tablet market. Apple's position is expected to decline as the Galaxy Tab expands its reach and HTC, LG, Motorola and others launch Android tablets in and around CES, but their prospects aren't known until Google unveils its first tablet-ready version of Android, Honeycomb.