HTC readying Windows RT tablets for 2013?

According to reports, HTC is preparing to launch a pair of Windows RT tablets in the third quarter of 2013.

Bloomberg is citing “a person familiar with the plans” as informing them that HTC is working on both a 12-inch tablet and a 7-inch tablet. Both devices will join the Microsoft Surface on the Windows RT platform.

The 7-inch tablet is the really interesting one here, as the report suggests that it will also be able to make phone calls. It could take the idea of a ‘phablet’ hybrid device to a whole new (and even more unwieldy) level.

It would also represent the first small (sub-10-inch) tablet in the Windows range, at least that we’re aware of.This would suggest that Microsoft is ready to take on the likes of the Google Nexus 7, the Amazon Kindle Fire HD and the iPad mini in a head-to-head battle.

As suggested, both devices will run on Windows RT, the cut-down version of Windows 8. By the time of the third quarter of 2013, when these devices are set to launch, there will be a number of pure Windows 8 tablets on the market such as the ThinkPad Tablet 2 from Lenovo.

Microsoft intends the Windows RT range to run in parallel as a direct rival to the iPad, but it will be interesting to see how the relative sales of the two platforms are by the second half of 2013 – and whether this will force any changes on HTC’s part.

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