HTC will release a range of tablets this year in a bid to tap into the growing market, an HTC executive confirmed, though he declined to provide specifics on the company's tablet plans.
Click here for details on HTC's Flyer tablet.
"I really believe that the tablet market is really going to be a big market in the future and this is just the start," Florian Seiche, HTC's European president, said at the Reuters Global Technology Summit in Paris. "In five years' time, schools will have tablets probably instead of physical notebooks. I think that's going to be such a massive wave of additional penetration in society ... I think we can't even guess the potential."
HTC unveiled its first tablet, the Android-powered Flyer, at the Mobile World Congress trade show in February. Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S) will launch a WiMAX version of the tablet, and HTC also has announced a Wi-Fi-only version of the gadget. In seeking to release multiple tablets, HTC is taking a page from some of its competitors, including Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Samsung. Motorola Mobility (NYSE:MMI) also plans to release more Android tablets this year to follow up on its initial effort, the Xoom.
One possible HTC tablet coming down the pike is a device that has popped up online the past few days, code-named "Puccini." According to multiple reports, the tablet will run the "Honeycomb" version of Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android platform and sport a 10-inch screen, dual-core 1.5 GHz Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) Snapdragon processor and run on AT&T Mobility's (NYSE:T) forthcoming LTE network. An HTC spokeswoman declined to comment.
According to research firm Gartner, global tablet sales likely will grow to 108 million units next year, up from 17.6 million units in 2010. According to a separate study by the Institute for Communication Technology Management at the University of Southern California's Marshall School of Business, tablet ownership in North American households is projected to increase from 8 percent in 2011 to 27 percent in 2012.
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