A research report by NPD DisplaySearch has indicated HTC is about to start production of a new tablet, but instead of using Google’s Android operating system, the new device will run Microsoft’s Windows 8 software. Apparently, the tablet will have a 10.1-inch screen with a Full HD 1080p resolution, but no other specifications were mentioned. If the rumor is true, this will mark the first time HTC has produced a tablet not running Android. While the report doesn’t go into much detail, it does state the tablet’s screen will be made by LG, and production – which is said to be handled by Pegatron, the Taiwanese contract manufacturer which also builds the Apple iPad – could begin before summer.
This isn’t the first time we’ve heard about HTC re-entering the tablet game, and it’s not the first time it has been linked with Microsoft either, however the potentially burgeoning relationship had a frosty start. In June last year, Microsoft reportedly blocked HTC’s application to license Windows RT, supposedly on the grounds it didn’t have enough experience. Then, a month later, an HTC spokesperson talked about a tablet project with a, “unique selling point,” but offered nothing on its future release.
By the end of the year, Microsoft was on the lookout for more Windows 8 partners, and anonymous sources speaking to Bloomberg indicated in December the pair had made up, and HTC was in the process of producing two tablets for release during 2013. However, a 10.1-inch tablet wasn’t mentioned, with HTC said to have chosen the 7-inch and an unusual 12-inch form factor instead. Finally, in January, an extensive leak of HTC codenames revealed the presence of the Quattro and Verdi, two names previously associated with tablet projects.
HTC is having a tough time, and is going through some dramatic changes in an effort to reverse its fortunes. One has to wonder if a Windows tablet, regardless of whether it’s Windows 8 or Windows RT, is the right choice of product to help put it back on track?