Could Android Update Provide an iTunes Killer? Google Sure Hopes So

Google has never been afraid of its competition in the past. Now, after making its company name synonymous with "search engine", gunning down Microsoft's Hotmail and tackling the smartphone market, it's looking to take on Apple's iTunes with the long-awaited launch of Google Music.

Google has never been afraid of its competition in the past. Now, after making its company name synonymous with “search engine”, gunning down Microsoft’s Hotmail and tackling the smartphone market, it’s looking to take on Apple’s iTunes with the long-awaited launch of Google Music.

At the recent Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Motorola Mobility’s chief executive, Sanjay Jha, revealed exciting news that could change the digital music industry in the very near future. Jha outlined his company’s impending release of the Motorola Xoom tablet — a direct iPad competitor — and how Google’s operating system updates will work to make the product a viable challenger for Apple’s throne.

The upcoming Android update (known as Honeycomb and custom designed to run as a native tablet operating system) will be used to power the Xoom and is now expected to mark the release of Google’s long awaited music service. Jha spoke about Honeycomb’s forthcoming video and music support in Barcelona, hinting at developments that have yet to be made official by Google but are backed by ample supplementary evidence.

Billboard has previously reported contact with Google executives (including Android’s main engineer, Andy Rubin) that involved discussion of an online music store and service. With iTunes currently holding some 66% of international online music sales, however, Google has obviously been waiting for the right moment to maximize exposure in its debut of an alternative. With Xoom’s launch approaching it would seem a perfect opportunity for Google to attach a brand new service to an already highly-anticipated product release.

Honeycomb and Xoom are expected to be released sometime within the next two months.