Prior to Apple's launch of iPhone 4 on June 7, HTC had launched its Android-based Evo 4G phone on June 4 and now a report prior to Apple's launch of iPad 2 says that HTC is working on a tablet to rival iPad.
Bloomberg reported that the Taiwan-based HTC has filed a trademark at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for a device called HTC Scribe on Dec. 26, defining it as a handheld wireless device, namely a tablet computer.
Reports of HTC crafting a tablet have been circling since Sept. when DigiTimes reported that a Taiwanese hardware manufacturer Pegatron Technology had taken orders from HTC to manufacture an Android-based tablet due in first quarter of 2011.
The report spilled out specification, citing that the tablet's display would sport a resolution of 1280x780 and will be powered by a Tegra 2 dual-core microchip. Other specs included a 32GB memory car, 2GB of internal storage, Wi-Fi, GPS and Bluetooth. It was reported that it would be priced at around $750.
DigiTimes reported again in October that HTC is expected to delay its launch of tablet to the second quarter of 2011, citing Google's priority to launch Android 3.0 or Honeycomb on the anticipated Motorola tablet which is due to be launched at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in January 2011. Also after that Google is busy to launch an Android 3.5-based tablet with LG. It had also reported that Apple is readying its iPad 2 for a launch in April.
A report by VisionMobile had stated that Google applies certain control tactics around Android handsets. Since Android has gained traction among phone manufacturers as an OS that gives room for differentiation at a low cost, Google uses this to its advantage. It makes available specific private code lines which are 6 months ahead of the public Software Development Kit (SDK), to the OEM manufacturers working on Android models which allow them to stay competitive through differentiation. Thus, it keeps the codes closed for OEMs before making it public for app developers. If the strategy holds true, then an HTC tablet will be delayed and can hit markets in the second quarter of 2011.
While the clouds of expectation are thick, what is widely regarded is that HTC could be the only manufacturer who could rival Apple's iPad. HTC was the first manufacturer of Android-based phones in 2008 and was able to deliver a strong Android phone with super specs in June in the form of HTC EVO 4G. The phone was also the first to receive an Android 2.2 update in August.
Though it currently wears the largest Android phone maker crown, the glitch could be the patent lawsuit that was filed by Apple against it in March citing 20 patents being encroached in the area of interface design, especially architecture and hardware design. HTC dutifully filed a counter-patent-case in May against Apple.