According to news coming out of Taiwan, HTC is about to rush release a tablet device, believed to be called the Flyer, onto the market in order to beat RIM's BlackBerry PlayBook and the Motorola Xoom to the punch. It is expected to be available in the US in March.
But, rather than carry Google's tablet-specific OS, Android 3.0 (Honeycomb), it will be laden with Gingerbread (2.3) with a view of updating via firmware later.
However, the source of the information is none other than Digitimes, which seems to have a policy of throwing rumours out in a scatter-gun formation, hoping that one or more actually turn out to be true. Of course, this could be one of those occasions, and considering that it is widely expected for HTC to at least announce a tablet device at the forthcoming Mobile World Congress in February, maybe there's something in it.
If true, though, it is rather at odds with HTC's own philosophy. When Pocket-lint talked to Eric Lin, the company's global PR and online community manager, back in July 2010, he told us: "We are always looking at it, but, right now, the whole idea is that in order to be successful with a tablet, you need to have something compelling. And not just a compelling form factor".
"You’ve seen how, at Computex, there were 80 different Android tablets", he continued. "So if we just release an Android tablet, then we’re one of 81… Whereas, if we have a compelling feature, a really compelling use, anything like that, then it’ll help us to stand out. It’s going to take a lot of work searching for that".
And surely releasing an Android 2.3 device in a market awash with similar products, a full 6 months after Samsung's Galaxy Tab hit the shelves, would be in direct contrast to Lin's comments?
Digitimes also states that two other HTC tablets will be coming in June, and they will both feature Android 3.0 from the get go. We suspect that might be closer to the truth.
What do you think? Would HTC be mad to rush release a tablet with lower spec? Should the company wait? Let us know in the comments below...