It's been quite a long time since we saw HTC release a tablet into the market, it's been a year since the release of the HTC Flyer – which became the EVO View 4G on Sprint. The tablet received fairly good reviews and whilst it wasn't a runaway success in terms of sales it didn't exactly tank, either.
The device was innovative and well designed, with its pen support the first of its kind on the market it made a 7" tablet look like a viable productivity tool. Whilst it didn't feature a dual-core processor which, at the time, looked a little like a mistake the device was no slouch. It also shipped with Gingerbread and not the tablet-specific Honeycomb but, again it was felt that this didn't hurt the device as HTC's customisations made sense and looked good, too. Later on in the year the company did update the tablet to Honeycomb and this made it even more of a viable option for those looking for a smaller tablet.
There was nothing wrong with the Flyer and it was a compelling choice when I went to market to buy my second tablet – the A100 soon won this battle with its dual-core Tegra 2 – with the pen support weighing heavy on my mind. This pen support was something that HTC bought to AT&T's LT network with the release of the dual-core Honeycomb running Jetstream and for all intents and purpose the device was an okay offering. HTC, however, didn't seem to have anything to offer besides the pen input – something of a niche, itself – and its Sense skin, something else wasn't always looked upon highly. With the likes of Samsung, ASUS, Toshiba and Acer bringing varied devices of both screen size and performance to the market it showed that HTC's offering wasn't quite up to snuff.
At this year's MWC in February it was expected that HTC would announce a quad-core tablet but, the device didn't come to light and whilst the One line of phones were arguably the biggest announcement of the show it was clear that HTC didn't have any plans to release a new tablet or, if any intents to do so, either. Manufacturers – especially those the size of Taiwanese HTC – don't give up on successful product categories, as such this shows that HTC aren't looking to try again with another tablet or, indeed a line of tablets. It's a shame that the company seems to feel this way as HTC are a company that are known for using quality materials – as the One line has shown – and precision in their building of devices, not to mention a design language that is always appealing. A new tablet from HTC could do well in a market dominated by ASUS' transformer series and Samsung's intent to bring every screen size to the market, if they were to bring something fresh and compelling like they did with the Flyer last year. It's unlikely that the outfit are going to make any shock announcements on the tablet front, after not bringing any to either MWC or Computex.