Since 2011, we have been hearing rumors that the next version of Android will be called Jelly Bean. There are no solid specifics on what to expect feature wise, but apparently the new OS would make use of some of the features in Chrome OS, or even merge both. Jelly Bean is nowhere ready to be released, but already the rumor mill is overflowing with the chatter of Asus being the first manufacturer to launch an Android Jelly Bean-based device.

There is a close partnership between Asus and Google, probably not as close as Google and Samsung, but should be close enough for Asus to grab the chance of being the first to market Jelly Bean.

The Asus Transformer Prime was the first Android-based tablet to get the Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) update, and not even Google's own Nexus devices got the privilege of being the first. So something could definitely be cooking here. We are not sure if Motorola will contest such a move to be the first since the company is now owned by Google. But it is doubtful, as Google is making plans to replace the current Motorola CEO with one of its own from its AdSense Marketing team.

“ASUS is very close to Google, so once they have Android 5.0 I think there will be a high possibility that we will be the first wave to offer the Jelly Bean update,” Benson Lin, Asus Corporate Vice President, said.

Clearly there is something going on here, but does Asus have what it takes to beat the likes of Samsung and HTC to market? Possible, if the company has the backing of Google. We haven't seen (or heard) much from Asus since the Transformer Prime tablet, its most successful tablet ever. Asus Padfone with Android inside is not particularly doing well anywhere in the world and that could be in part, due to the name. After all, who would really call a phone Padfone?

If Asus continues to release great and durable products that just perform as one would expect, it could become one of the top Android manufacturers. In the world of Android, Samsung controls the lion’s share of the market, followed by HTC. So it will not be easy for Asus to step up. However, Asus is a promising manufacturer of Android devices, so you should keep your eyes peeled.

(Reported by Vamien McKalin, Edited by Surojit Chatterjee)

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