Motorola slimming down for Xoom 2?

The iPad has outsold every other tablet in recent years by a factor of about 30-1. Why is it so dominant? There's a slew of reasons: people's familiarity with the iPhone; the Apple 'halo effect' of a strong, trendy brand; the large number of apps available. But there's another reason, too, we reckon: its shape. The iPad has a 4:3 screen ratio, the same shape as old pre-widescreen TVs. Most other tablets, like the Samsung Galaxy Tab series and Motorola's Xoom - not to mention the BlackBerry Playbook - adopt a widescreen 16:9 shape. That's great for watching films, but arguably not so great for things like reading where you hold the tablet in portrait mode.

Well, if these rumours are true, it looks like Android tablet makers are starting to cotton on to the appeal of 4:3. Word is afoot that Motorola, stung by the poor performance of their Xoom tablet when it came out earlier this year, are working on a new tablet that would use an iPad-like 4:3 shape.

Apparently the new tablet will run 'Ice Cream Sandwich', the next version of Google's Android operating system which is designed to work on both phones and tablets. That makes us think that Honeycomb, the tablet version of Android that's currently available, may have only really been designed to work on 16:9.

Of course, this could all be nonsense: all rumours are to be taken with a large serving of salt, you hear us, people?

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