Photos of HTC’s Android Honeycomb-based Puccini tablet have been leaked online, along with specs
Images have been leaked of HTC’s forthcoming 10.1-inch Puccini tablet, confirming rumours that the device will have a rear-facing 8 megapixel camera and built-in LTE support.
As well as the pictures, which show a black-bezeled slate with curved edges running on US network AT&T, the anonymous photographer also told Engadget that the Puccini has a 1.5GHz dual-core processor and 1GB of RAM. It will run Google’s Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) operating system, and carry 16GB of storage.
Unlike HTC’s first tablet, the Flyer, which landed in the UK in May, there is no sign of a stylus, suggesting the company has abandoned this particular feature – perhaps due to the non-plussed reaction from analysts.
If earlier rumours in DigiTimes are to be believed, HTC will launch the Puccini at the end of the third quarter or early fourth quarter.
Android tablets flood the market
The arrival of the Puccini comes at a risky time for HTC, which is yet to crack the tablet market. The Flyer, priced at £599, met with a lacklustre reception, largely because it launched with the Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) operating system, at a time when other vendors were offering Honeycomb tablets. Its high price tag didn’t help matters.
However, HTC faces a much bigger challenge. The Android tablet market is now extremely crowded, with a host of rival offerings chipping stubbornly away at Apple’s market share. Many have been forced to scale down their ambitions. Acer, for example, recently announced it would drastically scale back its tablet shipment targets for this year.
HP made the shock announcement last week that it would be shutting down its webOS hardware division – which means giving up on its relatively new tablets and smartphones. These include the long-awaited TouchPad tablet, billed by some as a viable iPad competitor.
The news has led to massive price cuts at Currys And PC World, as well as moves to port Android software onto the device – to prevent it from becoming obsolete. HP is expected to announce its own UK price cut on Friday.
Meanwhile, HTC is still embroiled in a fierce patent battle with Apple over the technology used in the iPhone’s user interface and underlying hardware. Last month the US International Trade Commission ruled that HTC had violated two of Apple’s patents, but the two companies are digging in for a long battle.