HTC Reportedly Planning to Launch Two Windows 8 Tablets

NEW YORK | Friday, December 21st, 2012 6:48pm EDT

HTC plans to make tablets based on the Windows operating system, giving Microsoft another ally in its challenge to Apple and Google in the $63.2 billion market, people familiar with the matter said.

HTC Reportedly Planning to Launch Two Windows 8 Tablets 01

HTC had previously been in the tablet market with its Flyer tablet. Photo: CCS Insight/Flickr

According to the recent report the Taiwanese computer maker HTC next year plans to release a pair of tablets running Microsoft’s Windows 8 operating system, including a 7-inch model.

Microsoft has apparently relented, and HTC will be producing a pair of new tablets running Windows RT. They will not only be notable for their size – one is expected to be 7 inches and the other 12 inches – but also because they will allow users to make phone calls directly from the devices, writes the Zdnet.

All Windows RT tablets are powered by chips that use ARM’s mobile processor reference design, which aims for energy efficiency and long battery life.

The 7-inch version would be the first Windows RT model in that size and compete against such companies like Amazon Kindle Fire, Google Nexus 7, and Apple iPad mini. The HTC tablets would supposedly use Qualcomm chips, but no other specs have been disclosed at this time.

According to the Telegraph, HTC had also been considering a tablet with Windows 8 running on Intel, but scrapped those plans because the company determined it would have to charge too much – around $1,000 – for the device, making it difficult to sell enough of them. Microsoft’s own Intel-based Surface tablet with Windows 8, will cost $899 or $999, depending on the model, when it goes on sale next month.

HTC was turned down for participation in the initial round of Windows RT devices, a process Microsoft controlled tightly, people familiar with the matter said in June. As it turned out, most of the devices greenlighted through that program weren’t ready for sale when Windows RT was released in October.

Microsoft Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer is racing to get more Windows-based tablets into stores, making up for delays that have made it harder to catch Apple, Google and Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) in a market projected by researcher NPD to almost double to $123.5 billion in 2015. Microsoft will end the year with a 2.9 percent share, compared with Apple’s majority and Google’s more than 40 percent, as it is said in the Bloomberg.

“No matter where you look, there’s not a breadth of devices to look at,” Wes Miller, an analyst at Directions on Microsoft, said in an interview. While “more variety of hardware might help,” he said, “good devices with good battery life and price,” as well as compelling applications would have to come together.

Taoyuan City, Taiwan-based HTC is looking for new revenue opportunities as it has lost share of the Android phone market to Samsung. HTC in October forecast fourth- quarter revenue that would mark its lowest sales in 11 quarters.

Earlier this month, Microsoft said it would convert a number of so-called pop-up stores it opened around the country for the holidays into permanent locations.

“Based on the success of the Microsoft holiday stores, the company will extend all of these locations into the new year. These stores will transition into either permanent brick-and-mortar retail outlets or specialty store locations,” Microsoft said in a statement.

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