HTC Honeycomb Puccini Tablet Set For Q3 Arrival

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The crowded Android tablet market is to get another player with the arrival of HTC’s Puccini

HTC has become the latest vendor to enter the increasingly crowded tablet market, with a Honeycomb Android offering.

According to a new DigiTimes report, HTC’s 10-inch tablet PC, the Puccini, will be launched at the end of the third quarter or early fourth quarter.

CFO Comments

This information reportedly came from HTC’s CFO Winston Yung, who was also quoted in the  Chinese-language Liberty Times as making the remarks at a press conference sponsored by the Taiwan Stock Exchange (TSE).

“HTC has been performing well in markets in Asia with sales in China to increase four-fold this year,” Yung reportedly said.

He added that the number of sales outlets for HTC smartphones in China will increase to 2,000 by the end of the year compared to 650 currently.

Regarding HTC’s lawsuit against Apple, Yung reportedly said that HTC will stick its course to appeal the case, instead of seeking reconciliation with Apple.

Delayed Arrival?

HTC’s tablet offering had previously been rumoured to appear in August or September and the delay could be because Apple is widely expected to launch the iPad 3, as well as the iPhone 5, in either September or October.

The arrival of the Puccini comes at a risky time for HTC, which has previously not seemed overly taken with the tablet form factor. That said, HTC’s first Android tablet, a 7-inch device dubbed the Flyer, arrived in the UK back in May, priced at £599.

Unfortunately the issue with that device is that it launched with the Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) operating system, at a time when other vendors were offering Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) tablets. Its pricing also didn’t help matters.

Crowded Market

But HTC faces a much bigger challenge.

The problem is that the Android tablet market is now extremely crowded, with a host of rival offerings from other vendors trying desperately to take market share away from Apple.

And it seems they are not succeeding. Indeed in June, for example, Acer followed many of its tablet rivals by announcing it would drastically scale back its tablet shipment targets for this year.

Earlier that month JP Morgan analyst Mark Moskowitz had suggested that Samsung, Motorola and other manufacturers were reducing their build plans for their respective tablet offerings, following a lukewarm reception by consumers and businesses.

HP meanwhile has slashed the US price of its webOS Touchpad, as has Motorola with its Xoom, and Dell has stopped selling its Streak 5 in the United States.

So it is clear that HTC will have a fight on its hands to make an impact with the Puccini.

HTC has so far not officially confirmed the specs of the tablet, but it is thought to contain a 1.5GHz CPU, 2GB of RAM, and dual cameras, including a rear-facing 8 megapixel camera.

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Author: Tom Jowitt
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