Cisco To Have An Android Tablet Of Their Very Own

First came Android, the mobile OS. Then came the first Android phone, the G1. Then came the Nexus One, the first true gPhone — Google top to bottom. And it just kept going from there.

Today, not yet three years into development, Android is available on dozens of devices, from phones to e-readers to netbooks and more. It's taken the #2 spot in the mobile OS world — well ahead of the "unkillable" iPhone — and reportedly is slated to take on Apple's other hot toy of the moment.

Given the explosive growth and variety of devices sporting the OS, it comes as little surprise when a manufacturer announces they have a new Android offering in the works. Unless, that is, if the manufacturer is a networking giant and the announcement comes out of nowhere.

Such was the case this afternoon, when word reached us that Cisco — a name we associate with switches, not smartphones — announced it will bring an Android tablet to market.

The device in question, dubbed the Cius, will be a bit different than most Android tablets — both those on the market and on the drawing board. Rather than entering the consumer market, which plenty of other manufacturers are tripping over themselves to do, Cisco intends to tie up the business market with what it calls "the most portable, powerful, reliable, and secure communications, computing, and collaboration experience for a device of its kind."

Marketing-speak aside, Cisco says the 1.5lb box will boast a 1.6GHz Atom processor, 32GB of flash memory, a 7" high-definition touchscreen, WiFi, 3G/4G cellular service, Bluetooth, and an eight-hour battery life, among other things. There will also be two onboard cameras — a front-mounted 720p HD model with a 30 frames-per-second refresh rate, and a rear-mounted 5-megapixel model for video or still shots — as well as dual noise-canceling mics.

That the tablet is aimed at the business market is made clear by features like the "HD Soundstation" dock, which adds native support for USB 2.0 & Bluetooth 3.0 peripherals, along with integrated HD speakers and support for dual independent displays. As one would expect, there will be tight integration with Cisco's line of enterprise services, and an overall focus on cloud-based solutions.

According to Cisco, the Cius will also have access to the Android Market. This piques our interest, as to our knowledge, no Android tablet — indeed, no non-smartphone devices whatsoever — have access to the Market, period. Though Android itself is Open Source, access to the Android Market is controlled by Google, and is granted only to devices that gain a passing grade from its "Compatibility Test Suite." If the Cius makes it though, it will definitely be a first of its kind.

The company says it plans to begin testing the device with customers in the fall, and expects the Cius to be generally available after the first of the year. An extensive look at the device and its capabilities is available from Cisco.com.

______________________

Justin Ryan is a Contributing Editor for Linux Journal.

Comments

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

Huh?

Marc's picture

That the tablet is aimed at the business market is made clear by features like the "HD Soundstation" dock...

How does the HD Soundstation dock make it clear that this device is aimed at the business market? That actually sounds more like an entertainment feature.

Hope it's better than their VOIP product

Doug.Roberts's picture

My company's Cisco (free) VOIP product has some serious shortcomings. I hope their tablet product exceeds that offering.

--Doug

White Paper
Linux Management with Red Hat Satellite: Measuring Business Impact and ROI

Linux has become a key foundation for supporting today's rapidly growing IT environments. Linux is being used to deploy business applications and databases, trading on its reputation as a low-cost operating environment. For many IT organizations, Linux is a mainstay for deploying Web servers and has evolved from handling basic file, print, and utility workloads to running mission-critical applications and databases, physically, virtually, and in the cloud. As Linux grows in importance in terms of value to the business, managing Linux environments to high standards of service quality — availability, security, and performance — becomes an essential requirement for business success.

Learn More

Sponsored by Red Hat

White Paper
Private PaaS for the Agile Enterprise

If you already use virtualized infrastructure, you are well on your way to leveraging the power of the cloud. Virtualization offers the promise of limitless resources, but how do you manage that scalability when your DevOps team doesn’t scale? In today’s hypercompetitive markets, fast results can make a difference between leading the pack vs. obsolescence. Organizations need more benefits from cloud computing than just raw resources. They need agility, flexibility, convenience, ROI, and control.

Stackato private Platform-as-a-Service technology from ActiveState extends your private cloud infrastructure by creating a private PaaS to provide on-demand availability, flexibility, control, and ultimately, faster time-to-market for your enterprise.

Learn More

Sponsored by ActiveState