Motorola is prepping a very interesting device for the Chinese market: the CloudBB. While details are still rather sparse, the CloudBB appears to be a combination of a television and a desktop computer, powered by Android.
According to Motorola’s Chinese website, the CloudBB is best described as a:
Combination of both high-definition digital TV live / on-demand, and touch screen Tablet PC Android PC user experience, provides a unique broadband service.
The description is a bit odd, as it claims the device is a tablet, yet it is clearly shown with a complete keyboard and mouse. It could be that the CloudBB is intended to function like the ASUS Transformer or even Motorola’s own “Laptop Dock”, where the core tablet functions as a desktop when connected to its keyboard and mouse.
Specifications for the CloudBB are respectable, but do hold a few surprises:
- Freescale i.MX53 ARM Cortex A8 1GHz
- Memory: 1GB DDR RAM, 4GB NAND flash memory.
- 18.5-inch LED display (1366×768 @ 60Hz, 16:9 widescreen)
- Android 2.3.4 operating system, can be customized the Android Launcher rich desktop experience
- TV and video client / integration of a variety of gadgets
- The broadband Internet access EuroDOCSIS and the LAN (PPPoE / DHCP +, etc.)
The CPU and RAM are pretty much run of the mill, but an 18.5 inch display at 1366×768 is certainly unique for an Android device. Unfortunately, for reasons beyond comprehension, the CloudBB will be running Gingerbread; a version of Android that is absolutely NOT well suited to large displays. The specifications mention this particular build of Gingerbread will be modified for a better desktop experience, but one has to wonder why they wouldn’t just ship the thing with Ice Cream Sandwich (or Jelly Bean) to start with.
The last two lines would seem to indicate the CloudBB is able to connect directly to subscription television and Internet services, circumventing the normal broadband modem and router combination.
Due to the vast differences in the TV/Internet infrastructure and industry between the East and West, we’re unlikely to see the CloudBB hit US shores the same way we never got standard TV tuners in our smartphones.
Still, if the CloudBB does well enough in the Chinese market, it may well inspire more large format Android devices to get picked up for a global release, which would be a very interesting turn of events for a mobile OS which already has seemingly infinite growth potential.