Well it turns out that Honeycomb may not require a dual-core processor after all. Dan Morrill, a developer on the Android team, says that Android 3.0 Honeycomb does not have any hardware requirements and that the rumors were completely false.
This news will definitely spark some hope into the hearts of the single core Galaxy Tab users out there. XDA Developers will surely be hard at work trying to port Honeycomb functional versions onto the single core tablets so this will only help to reinforce their work.
Splitting the o/s on the basis of hardware requirements now might cause a slower adoption of tablets (if prices are too expensive due to hardware requirements). Right now consumers can choose from $75 – $750 tablets which are just as capable of the same applications. Screen size (and type), battery life, procssor/components/hardware features, and internal capacity are what separates that 10x premium. The sweet spot is where we transition from portable media player prices to netbook prices.. $100-$300 range.
Android has to get consumers onboard first before they can “require” anything. Apple and Microsoft are licking their chops to get android’s potential market share which is not guaranteed should they stumble (hardware and/or software goofs). CES will set the tone for what’s to come from android o/s tablets because of all the (value added/free) publicity associated with the trade show.
Android has a nice foothold on the market, I don’t see them failing because of hardware requirement, but that does go against what google has set out to establish which is an os not the devices themselves.
There will be a minimum RAM requirement, so there will be a hardware requirement. But that’s as far as it’s going to go.
Beyond that there will be practical limitations (e.g. would probably be silly to expect it to work well on a 600MHz chip), and my understanding is that there will be special support for dual-core processors.
I believe it could work quite smooth on a 600MHz processor. But only if a separate GPU is availiable for the graphical calculations.
RAM will be the most binding limitation. Honeycomb will work with a slower processor, it will just be slower. But it simply won’t work if it doesn’t have enough RAM.