Honeycomb on the Phone is "Just a Matter of Time"
Android's Open Source and Compatibility Tech Lead, Dan Morrill, let it out that the features and APIs found in Honeycomb tablets will make their way to phones eventually.
Honeycomb runs all existing Android apps; all the APIs & features will come to phones in some form. Just a matter of time.
This is just a confirmation of what is floating around about upcoming Android versions. It looks like Android 2.4 will indeed still be a Gingerbread release, while the upcoming Ice Cream version will follow up as a 3.X or possibly a 4.0 release.
What remains to be seen is how well Google and the handset makers will treat their existing customers. As it stands, even Nexus One owners are stuck with Froyo, and that makes it highly unlikely any of the other custom flavoured Android devices are getting updated anytime soon. There is some speculation that with the release of Android 2.4 being imminent, most phones that get any updates at all will skip right over 2.3 in favour of 2.4.
The good news is that it looks like some of the customization normally hard-coded into the OS is starting to show up as apps and widgets instead. This would allow for similar levels of flexibility for devices makers while enabling updates to be pushed out faster.
As for a timeline, Eric Schmidt announced at Mobile World Congress that Android releases are now at a 6-month cycle. Assuming that Honeycomb is released in the next few weeks alongside Motorola’s Xoom tablet, that would mean a late summer or early fall release of Ice Cream.
Up until now fragmentation has been an issue that was mitigated by the significant changes in hardware. Now, with every newly released phone and tablet able to run the latest software, the onus is on Google to get this issue under control.