It is widely accepted by many that ASUS's upcoming Padfone, which we first covered in Computex 2011 some months back, has the potential to take tablet and smartphone computing in a direction which no other OEM has ever attempted to do so, save for Motorola and its Atrix smartphone. And like the gift that keeps on giving, it seems that users who are keen to keep themselves on the bleeding edge of mobile technology will probably have something extra to look forward to, for ASUS has reportedly announced that the Padfone will ship with Ice Cream Sandwich preloaded in it.
Remember our coverage about ASUS's upcoming smartphone-tablet hybrid mobile computing device that was eventually revealed to be the Padfone in Computex this year? Well, if you happen to be interested in getting your hands on one of these Padfones on launch day, wee have got an additional bit of good news for youu. Apparently, the Taiwanese OEM has announced that it plans to ship the Padfone with Google's upcoming version of the Android operating system, which has been dubbed "Ice Cream Sandwich", preloaded into the device.
As most people will undoubtedly know by now, hopes and expectations forr Ice Cream Sandwich are high, as it is with this particular version of the Android operating system that Google is aiming to merge both the smartphone-centric and the tablet-optimized branches of Android back into a single unified release. This makes sense, considering how the Padfone's biggest selling point is its ability to switch between 'smartphone mode' and 'tablet mode' in an instant as soon as the smartphone component of the Padfone is locked into its tablet-sized cradle. As such, a unified version of Android which is capable of working well on both form factors is integral to the Padfone's success; this might explain why ASUS has chosen to hold out on the Padfone's official launch until such an operating system is made available for it to run off on.
Lastly, there has also been some whispers of what appears to be a Padfone successor currently in the works over at ASUS's labs, along with some unverfied claims that the next-gen Padfone might certain additional technologies such as support for mobile broadband connectivity via 4G and glassless 3D display. However, considering how the first-generation Padfone has yet to even see the light of day on retail shelves, let's just say that we will cross that particular bridge when we actually come to it.