HTC Playing the Wait and See Game with Tablet Endeavors
HTC is still waiting to see how the tablet market performs before deciding to launch its own tablet product. The Android and Windows Phone 7 maker infers that tablet products may not be a threat to its core business and so it may not be pressed to enter the competitive and emerging space that’s now dominated by Apple in the consumer tablet space with the iPad. According to HTC Asia Vice President Jack Tong, tablets, like the iPad have more of an adverse impact on the PC market rather than the smartphone market.
HTC is doing well in the smartphone space, having released a number of successful phones over the years and have built a name around its brand and in the industry. Whereas many phones are subsidized and cheaper–making them more appealing to consumers–they are also more portable, more multi-purpose and useful to many consumers. Tablets, while becoming popular, are not as mobile, and the market for tablets is smaller, which may be a reason why HTC is waiting out and seeing how the overall market will perform. Additionally, unlike PC makers like HP, Dell, Asus, and others, HTC isn’t seeing a decline in smartphone shipments as a result of the onslaught of iPads and Android tablets. Instead, Tong says that company has a number of large-screen phones, like the HTC EVO 4G with a 4.3-inch display on Sprint, that can serve as a miniature tablet.
The company had previously released a Windows tablet, called the Tablet PC, which relies on Microsoft’s desktop-class Windows operating system. The tablet employed a sliding keyboard with a tilting screen and was known as the HTC Shift. The Shift was a unique device as it as it came with a dual-booting mechanism to allow users to either boot into Windows for full productivity or to boot into a modified version of Windows Mobile as an instant-on OS to have access to quick information on the go.
Since the product debut, HTC has not released a large-screen tablet and has instead focused on the smartphone market with Windows Mobile, and now Windows Phone 7 and Android.
In terms of the company’s Windows Phone 7 plans, Tong says that HTC Asia will be focused on Android until Microsoft localizes Windows Phone 7 into more languages.
With Android’s rapid growth, HTC will continue to focus on Android-based smartphones in the Asia-Pacific region, Tong said. As for the recently launched Windows Phone 7 (WP7), Tong indicated that for Asia, the company will target English-speaking markets such as Singapore and Australia since Chinese and other language editions will not be in the first half of 2011.