Has HTC given up on the tablet market?

June 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?

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