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Google I/O 2011: What Device Will They Giveaway This Time?
January 31, 2011 01:27 PM

For the past three years, developers have flocked to the increasingly popular Google I/O conference. The event focuses on technical information about web and mobile applications. Since Android made a debut in 2008, it has become an increasingly large part of the conference in addition to other popular topics such as Google Chrome or Google Apps.

While many might be turned down by the fact that attending the conference costs $450, there have been some perks to attending in the past. At Google I/O 2009, each attendee received a HTC Magic smart phone. At last year’s event, attendees received either a Motorola Droid or a Nexus One. However, there was a surprise announcement at the end of the Day 2 Keynote. Google’s VP of Engineering, Vic Gondotra, announced that each attendee would also get a free HTC EVO 4G.

So the big question: what will Google giveaway at this time? Here are some possibilities:

Smart Phones

There’s a good chance Google will hand out the recently upgraded Nexus One, the Nexus S by Samsung. There are also other possibilities since a handful of powerful Android devices appeared at CES 2011. For those hoping to pick up a Motorola Atrix, chances are slim since the webtop OS isn’t Google-built software. There is a better chance that Google may hand out a Droid Bionic or a HTC Thunderbolt, which run on Verizon’s new 4G LTE network. If Google chooses to stick with Sprint, it might be one of the yet-to-be-announced devices from the upcoming event in New York.

Chrome Notebook

In early December 2010, Google announced the CR-48 Chrome Notebook at a press conference. Since then, the company has handed these out at no cost to individuals, businesses, schools, non-profits and developers willing to participate in a pilot program. Some estimates claim that over 60,000 units shipped in December alone. If Google intends to push the Chrome OS platform to the masses in 2011, they might hand these out at this year’s conference to make a big splash.

Android Tablets

While the Samsung Galaxy Tab hit the market late last year, Google’s tablet-optimized Honeycomb OS did not make an official appearance until a few weeks ago at CES 2011. While Android smart phones are now dominating the market, Android tablets are not a bit hit just yet. To give Android 3.0 a much-needed push, Google might choose to hand out the flagship Motorola Xoom at the this year’s conference. With Apple domination the market with the iPad and with an iPad 2 in the works, focusing on tablets would be a wise choice.

Google TV

After many disappointing preliminary Google TV reviews, the company may announce some major software upgrades to change the perception. For instance, the Android Marketplace still is not available to Google TV owners. While this product is not as exciting as cutting-edge smart phones and tablets, Google may choose to give Logitech Revue units to attendees. This would push developers to optimize their Android apps for a large screen display.

We’ll Be There

Like last year, Skatter Tech will cover the keynotes and share any other big news. For those looking to attend, the website is now live with a countdown until the event begins, however registration is not open yet. Be sure to follow @skattertech on Twitter to know when they open the doors. Early bird registration is $450, but the price will jump to $550 after April 16th, 2011. Students looking to attend can get into the event for just $150.

Links: Google I/O 2011

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