Talking tablets: what exactly is HTC waiting for?

Talking tablets: what exactly is HTC waiting for?Back when it was still Android's favourite squeeze, HTC was one of the first big names to jump on the tablet bandwagon with the aim of grabbing some of the limelight from the iPad.

Like most Android tablets in those early days, the device in question – the HTC Flyer pictured here – was a failure, to the extent that we haven't seen another HTC tablet since. But wait...

Never short of a soundbite or two, HTC's top brass double-act Peter Chou and Cher Wang have been chewing the fat with the Financial Times, and have weighed in not just about tablets but also the latest hot-button consumer tech genre – wearables.

Here's what Wang had to say about HTC's tablet plans: “When the [HTC] tablet comes out it will be something nice and disruptive.”

Are we still being given that same old excuse? Even ignoring the Flyer (which Wang seemed keen to do), this notion of holding out until you've absolutely nailed it (or think you have) almost never works.

It's what Nokia said about its own tablet plans, and is the Lumia 2520 any more disruptive to the current tablet market than whatever Nokia could have come up with two years ago would have been then?

Chasing your idea of perfection is a dangerous game in an arena where the goalposts are constantly moving. Just ask BlackBerry after its year-long sabbatical to work on BlackBerry 10.

Tech manufacturers chase this notion of producing something “disruptive” like it exists separately from basic ideas of what works and what doesn't, what people will like and what they won't.

That doesn't mean that you shouldn't challenge existing wisdom, and yes there's always an element of risk involved when you do, but the funny thing is, companies that spend a lot of time talking about doing something disruptive very rarely achieve it.

And anyway, HTC doesn't need to be disruptive. By nailing its colours firmly to the premium mast with the iPad Air and iPad mini 2, Apple has left a lot of ground further down the food chain for companies like HTC to operate.

I'm not talking as far down as the likes of the Nexus 7 / Kindle Fire HDX – HTC will never win in a straight fight against companies that are far bigger than itself. But with Samsung consistently disappointing with its own mid-range Android tablet offerings, it remains a mystery why HTC has done absolutely nothing in the tablet market for more than two years now.

Maybe it'll be disruptive, HTC, and maybe it won't. But you'll never know if you don't actually take a chance.

Agree? Disagree? What would your idea of a truly "disruptive" tablet be? Have your say in the Comments below...

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JanSt / MOD  Oct. 24, 2013 at 10:10

What would your idea of a truly "disruptive" tablet be? Have your say in the Comments below Judging by this - and similar - articles, HTC's non-tablet is pretty disruptive :p


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