Announcement at Mobile World Congress
This week details have been leaked regarding a new tablet being developed by smartphone giant HTC called 'Flyer'; a seven inch offering which, assuming the rumours have some truth to them, would place it in direct competition with the iPad, Samsung Galaxy and the new Motorola Xoom.
Although unconfirmed by HTC, many believe that the company will be launching an aggressive tablet strategy in 2011, with the release of three devices. This first one, the Flyer, is expected to be announced at the Mobile World Congress, held on 14-17 February 2011 in Barcelona. The information, rumoured to have been leaked by a component suppliers, indicates that the device has been designed around the HTC Desire smartphone (pictured) and will come with the latest version of Google's Android mobile operating system, as well as featuring dual cameras, one on the front, one on the back.
Many see HTC's arrival in the tablet market as being inevitable, as they are such a big smartphone manufacturer, but the nature of the Flyer may surprise some who were expecting an offering more geared towards the female user. Speaking last May, Dr Florian Seiche, HTC's VP for Europe, said, "Our study found women social networking while watching television was a likely use for tablet," causing much speculation that this was the direction their first tablet offering would go in. The Flyer might not be aiming for that but it's worth keeping an eye out for the other two, apparently due to arrive later this year.
This news increases the attention on an already hot market. Blackberry are due to release their PlayBook early this year and anticipation is growing around the iPad2, an announcement for which many believe will be coming in the next few weeks. Of course, typically for Apple, no official information is available.