Requesting anonmimity, Toshiba engineers confirmed to PhoneNews.com that both the seven-inch and ten-inch versions of the Toshiba Thrive would be upgraded to Android 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich (or ICS for short).
This contradicts unconfirmed reports from Toshiba technical support that the Thrive line would not be upgraded to Android 4.0.
Toshiba has not yet offered an official statement regarding if the Thrive family of devices would be upgraded to ICS. The tablet line has faced an embattled launch, with Toshiba struggling alongside other Android tablet manufacturers to provide competitive advantage over Apple’s iPad.
The key differentiator for Thrive, at launch, was its built-in USB host ports. This enabled Thrive to be the first mass-production Android tablet to allow users to connect USB keyboards, game pads, and mass storage devices with ease. Toshiba accomplished this using newer Honeycomb features that were made official in Android 3.2.
However, shortly after launch Motorola embraced the same functionality via an adapter cable. In addition, hackers had already unlocked the functionality in Xoom prior to the release of Thrive. This subdued hackers to Thrive’s otherwise-attractive innovation.
More recently, Toshiba announced the seven-inch Thrive, which is more in-line with other current-generation seven-inch Tablets.
The lack of official commitment to Android 4.0 isn’t helping Thrive sales, either. Motorola recently committed to upgrading all of its Android tablets to Android 4.0, including the failed Motorola XOOM. Samsung has also committed to Android 4.0 for its lineup of second-generation Galaxy Tab devices.
Toshiba representatives at CES declined to provide an official comment to PhoneNews.com related to the Thrive and Android 4.0. We received no clarification or corrections regarding the comments from our discussions with Toshiba engineers..