If you bought a Nexus 9 recently and found that you weren’t quite entirely happy with its asking price, you might be surprised to hear that HTC is preparing to re-enter the tablet market on their own next year, with more high-end tablets. The Nexus 9 marks not only the first partnership between Google and HTC since the Nexus One, but HTC’s first tablet since the HTC Flyer, which was released back when Honeycomb wasn’t even a thing yet. The 7-inch pad had some decent attributes going for it, most notably the pen input, but software was not its strong suit. Since then however, HTC Sense has come on leaps and bounds, and Sense 6 is one of the more useful touches on Android out there and it looks like a Sense-powered tablet could be on the way.
In a report from Focus Taiwan, HTC’s President for North Asia, Jack Tong, is quoted as saying that “It’s not a profitable market” when talking about the low-end tablet market and went on to say that there’s “actually a bit more room for growth and product differentiation in the high-end and mid-tier tablet segments”. Tong went on to talk about 7-inch tablets and how larger smartphones were making them almost obsolete, with 5.5-inch devices blurring the lines between tablet and smartphone, there doesn’t appear to be much room for a small tablet in many people’s daily lives – myself included.
The Nexus 9 has been receiving some interesting press with regards to its overall build quality, and while my white unit seems pretty solid to me, there are some very questionable appearances of poor build. If HTC wants to become successful in the tablet game, and I believe they can, they need their devices to live up to their price tags, regardless of whether or not they’re from Google or from HTC themselves. There’s no excuse for poor build, and HTC will need to bring the same sort of premium look and feel of the HTC One (M8) if they aim to shift serious amounts of high-end tablets.