After dancing around the issue at CTIA last month, Sprint (NYSE: S) has gone ahead and confirmed that HTC’s Evo View tablet will run Google’s tablet-optimized Android 3.0 software when it is released later this year.
It was a little puzzling why Sprint and HTC would only confirm that their Evo View tablet–also known as the HTC Flyer–would run Android 2.3 until we learned about Google’s renewed control over its tablet software as well as its delay in releasing the code beyond a few key partners. But it seems like Google (NSDQ: GOOG) is getting ready for wider distribution of Honeycomb (the code name for the tablet version), as CNET spotted that Sprint has updated the product page for the Evo View to indicate that it will indeed ship with Android 3.0 when it is released.
It’s an important distinction because tablet-optimized applications are being designed for Android 3.0, not earlier versions of Android, and might have therefore looked odd on tablets running the older OS. And Android partners have their work cut out for them already trying to dent Apple’s runaway lead in the market without shipping software that really wasn’t meant to be used on tablet-sized devices.
We still don’t know how pricing will work for the Evo View, or an exact release date beyond “this summer.” Samsung is also expected to have revamped Galaxy Tab devices running Honeycomb out around that time.