HTC will return to making tablets bearing its own name in 2015, according to the company’s CFO Chang Chia-lin. The statement was made during a conference call at the end of October, and has been reported by Focus Taiwan. It comes soon after the launch of the Nexus 9, the so far well-received device which HTC built on behalf of Google, and its first tablet to be released in several years.
The report also quotes Jack Tong, HTC’s president for North Asia, who spoke at the Nexus 9’s launch in Taipei. He discussed the limited profitability in 7-inch tablets, particularly when the retail price is less than $170, and saw “more room for growth and product differentiation in the high-end and mid-tier tablet segments.”
This does suggest HTC won’t try to take on the Amazon Kindle Fire, or repeat the success of the Nexus 7; but instead follow the trend into which the Nexus 9 has tapped. Tablets with screens measuring somewhere in-between 8 and 10-inches have increased in popularity recently. Should HTC make a powerful, 9-inch tablet next year, it would compete with the Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact, the iPad Mini 3, and of course, the Nexus 9.
Returning to the conference call, Chang also said the company would “consider other co-branding opportunities,” in the future. HTC has partnered with Google before the Nexus 9, and it has released smartphones with Beats Audio branding, a deal which ended after it sold its stake in the firm.
Prior to the announcement of the Nexus 9, rumors regularly appeared about HTC’s return to producing tablet devices. At the end of 2013, the firm was linked with Windows-based hardware, and CEO Peter Chou talked about a “nice and disruptive” device around the same time, which may or may not have been the Nexus 9.
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