HTC’s plans for a roughly 12-inch screen Windows RT tablet have reportedly been scrapped after being considered too much of a commercial risk.
Following a poor response to the first wave of Windows RT tablets, HTC has decided not to release a rival to Windows 8 tablets like the Windows RT-based Surface.
Bloomberg talked to an unnamed source “familiar with the matter”, who claimed that the tablet has been binned “because it cost too much and demand for RT machines has been weak.”
However, the same source also claims that a 7-inch Windows RT tablet is still on the cards.
If this smaller tablet arrives later this year, it will be among the first ‘small’ Windows 8 tablets, alongside the 8.1-inch Acer W3 – due for an official unveiling at the Computex show in Taiwan next week.
To date HTC has produced only one tablet that was released in the UK. 2011’s Android-based HTC Flyer was a 7-inch screen tablet that met with little public interest and poor sales.
The company’s second attempt will reportedly land in September or October, which is around the expected launch of the iPad 5 and iPad mini 2.
To date, the ‘official’ Windows RT tablet, the Surface RT, is estimated to have sold around 900,000 units, having launched in October 2012.
However, that the full Windows 8 Surface Pro has shifted 400,000 in under a month demonstrates how little demand there is for Windows RT tablets – validating HTC’s concerns.
Windows RT has been roundly criticised for being both severely limited and confusing. The OS looks just like full Windows 8, but does not let you freely install non-Marketplace Windows apps.
The State of HTC
The release of the HTC One Android phone has been interpreted by many as a return to form for HTC, whose position as a top Android phone maker has waned in recent years.
However, this is not clearly reflected in the company’s share price, which is roughly a quarter of what it was during the company’s all-time high point of April 2011.
Next read our full HTC One review