According to rumours that are spreading faster than swine flu, HTC is prepping an Android 3.0 (Gingerbread) tablet for release in Q1 next year, 2011. While it is highly unlikely to be discussed in the company's unveiling of new handsets today (15 September 2010), all the talk seems to be about the new slate.

Pocket-lint is already of the belief that the manufacturer is working on a device with Verizon, which is suspected to use the Google Chrome OS, but the gravitas is behind HTC working on its own iPad-rival.

Taiwan-based component makers are the source for the gossip and, according to DigiTimes, state that due to HTC's healthy relationship with Google, the company would have a major advantage in the market. They also claim that should performance and quality of the new pad, tab or slate be on par with its smartphones ,it'll have no trouble forming alliances with mobile operators globally.

To be completely honest, Pocket-lint isn't sure quite why component makers are making such marketing based claims, or how Android 3.0 got thrown into the mix.

Additionally, the leak seems to be completely at odds with what HTC's global PR and online community manager, Eric Lin, exclusively told us in July: "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".

Is Android 3.0 adoption compelling enough?

"You’ve seen how, at Computex, there were 80 different Android tablets", he also said. "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".

With few other details emerging at present, we remain sceptical.

UPDATE: When asked about the tablet at the London arm of HTC's event, a company spokesperson gave Pocket-lint the standard, "HTC does not comment on rumours or speculation". So no further to add, sadly.

What do you think? Can the Taiwanese component makers be trusted? Let us know in the comments below...