Bloomberg: HTC to offer Windows RT tablets

Days after it was reported that Nokia is working on a tablet running Microsoft Windows RT, the “lite” operating system version of Windows 8 optimized for tablet devices or hybrid laptablets, Bloomberg is now reporting that the Taiwan-based manufacturer HTC is planning to release both a 7-inch and a 12-inch tablet running the said OS. If it indeed turns out to be true, the 7-inch tablet from HTC will become the smallest tablet powered by Qualcomm chips on Windows RT; and will become the first Windows candidate in the 7-inch phablet race dominated by Google’s Nexus 7, Apple’s iPad mini, and Amazon’s Kindle Fire.

This rumor came after earlier reports said that HTC will be excluded from next-gen Windows tablets, because Microsoft reportedly believes HTC lacks the experience in this arena and claims that HTC “doesn’t sell enough devices.” Although HTC and Microsoft representatives declined to comment about these developments, tech pundits are optimistic mainly because they will allow Windows tablets make up for delays in order to catch up with rival giants.

It can be observed that Microsoft has grown closer to HTC in recent months due to a number of HTC phones sporting the Windows Phone 8 OS, which analysts say may be Microsoft’s way of hogging up shares from the smartphone market due to its not-so-impressive showing in the tablet arena. With this move presumably in place, consumers may well be on their way in finding many Windows-based tablets at retail outlets soon.

Nothing confirmed yet as of press time about the features of these two; but they will most likely contain chips using technology from ARM Holdings Plc (ARM) definitely needed in all Windows RT devices. Another indisputable feature would be that both won’t come in Wi-Fi only versions (unlike Nexus 7), so aside from giving users the capability to place voice calls using a VoIP application among other things, these two babies will also function like normal cell phones that will allow users to make phone calls over a cellular network or via an active 3G connection that enables VoIP calling. Some sources say it will be slated for release in Q3 2013 while some say it would arrive as early as February 2013. No one can say for sure so it could be anybody’s guess.

Meanwhile, those looking for HTC-manufactured large-screen smartphones running on Windows 8 must be sobbing right now, because the company has completely scrapped plans of making one after realizing that making such a device would be too expensive in such a fiercely competitive marketplace. Also, the high sales of the Samsung Galaxy S III and the iPhone has reportedly stolen HTC’s market share so they had to cut back on projections and discontinue some projects entirely.

Earlier this month, HTC scored a three-year smartphone and tablet partnership deal with the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA), so observers and users of the brand can link these developments to the Taoyuan City-based company’s imminent comeback and increased presence in the tablet phone service industry next year.

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