Has HTC given up on the tablet market?

by: LucianJune 20, 2012
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HTC, like Motorola, was one of the first and only companies to get the Android tablet pricing completely wrong. Both of their tablets started out with a price between $600 and $800, even though HTC’s tablet was only 7″, and it had a single core processor, which doesn’t look like a subtle way of telling their audience why they should pay more for their tablet than the competition.

Why did this happen? Probably because HTC was still inexperienced with building tablets (the HTC Flyer was pretty thick, too), and also because both them and Motorola thought that they can somehow have these “premium” devices that they can get a higher profit from, especially from the “early adopters” of the Android tablet market. That strategy backfired, and it also managed to hurt the momentum for Android tablets, when the first Android tablets came out more expensive than an iPad.

You’d think HTC would have learned their lesson by the next iteration, but the 10″ Jetstream was even more expensive than the Flyer, and for no good reason. By then we already had tablets like the original Transformer going for $400, so it made little sense to even consider the Jetstream, which cost almost twice as much.

Since then we haven’t really heard anything about HTC making tablets, and we can assume they’ve given up on them, and have decided to only focus on the rapidly growing smartphone market. Apparently they tried making a Windows RT tablet, but Microsoft wouldn’t let them, probably because they realized HTC doesn’t really get how to make tablets that offer a good value.

The latest rumor that is somehow related to them making tablets, is that they are going to make a Galaxy Note competitor, or a “phablet”. But even that sounds more like a bigger smartphone than a tablet, unless they are going to approach the software for it from a tablet angle rather than a smartphone one.

Ultimately, if HTC wants to be successful in both the smartphone and tablet markets, they need to bring innovations, whether in build quality, in design, or aesthetics, and that’s besides having top notch hardware specs. Also, everything has to be offered for a reasonable price. I have my suspicions in HTC making a real tablet anytime soon. They will probably wait a couple of years to see how things stand with tablets, and maybe try their hand at them again. In the mean time, they will hopefully think of ways of how to do that in an innovative way that impresses their potential customers.

Readers, what do you think? Is HTC up to the task after a couple of failed attempts? Would you purchase an HTC tablet at this point in time or in the future if they put one on the market?

  • JoshuaB

    I have a HTC Flyer (with a customer Honeycomb rom) as my daily driver.
    I have also had other 7 and 10 inch tablets at the same time but end up giving then away as gifts to family members … oh I am so generous … NOT!!!
    The thing is the HTC Flyer is the only tablet with a stylus that works for me as a tactile pen, nobbie styles just don’t cut it when it comes to reviewing pdf docs, drawing, designing while stuck in public transport to and from work.
    I hope the next 10′ Galaxy has such a great pen interface…The the 7′ Flyer in an OtterBox case while bouncing around in public transport is great for getting an extra 10 hours of work done a week in a place where my ultra-book and full size tablet don’t work safely and comfortably enough.
    As for games, the Flyer has to grunt necessary for playing reckless racing, shaddow gun… even when compared to my Tegra 2 tablet.As for battery life, well a full 5 day work week on 24-7 standby ready to go at any opportunity is good enough for me.
    So, it will be a dark day when they pull the HTC Flyer from my cold dead hand.
    P.S. IMHO, buy a tablet that can be optimized for the predominant situation and circumstances that it will be used for … not much point having a Lamborghini of a tablet when a bush-bashing 4×4 is required.

  • gingerbreadman

    4th tab is an htc, and I must say, you only get a bit of lag from the single core processor when you are really multi-multi tasking. non of the others I had, including the samsung felt so good to work with, and the sence on top of that is so amazing. I hope they bring out another tab soon, as I need to upgrade in early next year, and not really interested in any other brand at the moment. (I even swoped my phone to htc since having the flyer). its so good.

  • Marc Patihk

    isnt the tablet a very well spec’d TABLET ?

  • Wai Phyo Naing

    Now it looks like Samsung has stolen HTC idea and polished it ( the pen and the note taking)! Flyer should have been successful!