We were expecting an HTC tablet at MWC 2011, and boy has the company delivered. The HTC Flyer is a 7-inch Android slate based on a 1.5GHz Qualcomm single-core processor running Android 2.4 Gingerbread, with a new, refreshed version of HTC Sense. Oh, and just to really stir things up, it has a stylus.
More chatter around HTC's new tablet, the HTC Flyer, has emerged, with a new Economic Daily News report suggesting that the company has worked with Pegatron to rush the first model out by the end of Q1 2011. According to the report, the 7-inch slate will run Android 2.3 as well as a new version of HTC Sense, and be followed by two Android 3.0 Honeycomb tablets later in the year. That fits in with previous talk - which pegged the two follow-up slates as arriving in June 2011, at least one of which potentially having 4G LTE connectivity - and certainly paves the way for the Flyer to make its debut at MWC 2011 next week.
Specifications and a render of the HTC Flyer have supposedly leaked, ahead of the 7-inch tablet's expected sales debut in March. According to Amobil, the Flyer will have a 1024 x 600 resolution display - putting it on a par with the Galaxy Tab and run Qualcomm's 1GHz MSM8255 processor as found in the Desire HD.
That would make it a single-core chip, rather than the dual-core processors like the Tegra 2 found in rival slates. Still, the Adreno 205 graphics would apparently be good enough to make an HDMI output worthwhile, and there's supposedly twin cameras: a 1.3-megapixel webcam for video calls over Skype, and a 5-megapixel rear camera with LED flash and face-recognition.
A new HTC trademark has prompted speculation about the company's software intentions for upcoming tablets, though the company could also be looking to better brand its overall ecosystem of devices. The EU trademark filing for "HTC Sensation" could be interpreted as an evolution of the existing HTC Sense interface and online services, perhaps tailored to tablets like the HTC Flyer.
HTC CEO Peter Chou has confirmed that the company has at least one tablet in the pipeline, telling investors that "we hope the product we eventually unveil will be one that meets consumers' needs." Speaking as part of a financial presentation today, Chou denied that HTC had been left wrong-footed by the iPad and Android-based slates like the Samsung Galaxy Tab, suggesting instead that "it's a new market with many competitors, and we don't want to rush into it."
HTC is tipped to be launching three tablets in the first half of 2011, with the first model - the HTC Flyer - expected to begin shipping in the US come March. According to DigiTimes sources, the Flyer resembles an oversized Desire smartphone and will run Android 2.3, but with an update to Android 3.0 Honeycomb supposedly planned when Google releases the updated OS.
The HTC Scribe tablet is tipped to be a 7-inch slate running Android Honeycomb, according to the latest Taipei leaks, though it's not expected to be launched at CES 2011 this week. Instead, DigiTimes reports, the Scribe will make its debut at Mobile World Congress in February 2011.
HTC's tablet intentions have been well raked over in the past few months, and now a potential name for the upcoming slate has been unearthed courtesy of a new trademark filing. The "HTC Scribe" is described as a "handheld wireless device, namely, a tablet computer" in HTC's submission, while the name itself would seem to suggest some form of stylus.
Sprint has confirmed that a 4G tablet is incoming, with Paget Alves, Sprint's President of Business Markets, telling Forbes that the WiMAX slate is expected to arrive sometime in 2011. Alves declined to confirm the manufacturer responsible for the device, nor indeed the OS that it might run; the carrier currently offers a single (non-4G) model, the Samsung Galaxy Tab, but the exec said there are plans to sell slates based on other platforms than Android.
The tablet market is certainly a hot one right now with the iPad selling in droves and cool Android tablets like the Galaxy Tab doing well. HTC is one of the more popular smartphone makers out there and its VP Jack Tong has talked a bit about the future of the company will look like for smartphones and tablets.