HTC could return to manufacturing tablets, but it’s all in the distant future

October 10, 2012
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With HTC’s financial decline accelerating, one might think that this is the perfect time for the Taiwan-based tech manufacturer to reinvent itself and take some risks. Still, the situation is not as dramatic as some want to make it look like, so HTC is determined to go the familiar way in the near future.

That means no Android-based tablets from the One X makers anytime soon, according to Jeff Gordon, HTC’s global online communications manager. Gordon did admit that HTC is “watching that market very, very closely,” but denied that his company has any clear plans for it.

This might come as a surprise for some and it definitely comes as a shocker for us, thinking of all the rumors from the past weeks or so. We did not count very much on the accuracy of that leak from back August, which starred a bizarre-looking 10-incher iMac-lookalike, but we did get pretty excited about the prospect of seeing a budget-friendly 7-inch Flyer 2 tab with Jelly Bean released soon.

Not only has that rumor proven false, but, again according to Gordon, HTC has not decided on whether or not to follow Amazon’s and Google’s examples, and get into the tablet business (again). “We’re not very much set on one strategy over another,” he admitted about the possibility of challenging either Apple’s iPads or the Fire and Nexus 7 budget-friendly 7-inchers.

What is clear, nevertheless, is that HTC will only launch a new tablet if and when it feels it can challenge either Apple or the Amazon-Google duo for supremacy. That’s pretty bold thinking, especially considering the company’s first forays into the tablet market.

HTC has released three tablets in the past, the 7-inch Flyer and EVO View, as well as the 10-inch Jetstream. All three gadgets have been received by the wide public with caution (to say the least), mostly due to their exaggerated prices.

Now all HTC tabs have been discontinued from sale in the United States, which should confirm they were swings-and-misses, though surprisingly Gordon doesn’t look at them as failures. “It was a great learning experience for us, and they definitely met expectations,” said the official about the slates. Well, if he’s talking about sales expectations, those were probably set really, really low.

No matter if you loved or hated the Flyer and Jetstream, however, you have to admit that it’s disappointing seeing HTC backing up from tablets so early in the game. With LG also putting tablet development “on hold” and Samsung still failing at that much awaited “iPad killer,” the market is clearly changing, though we can’t say we love its new direction. Let’s just hope Google, Amazon and Asus can keep up the good work.

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