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HTC may offer larger tablets to rival Apple, Samsung, CEO says

HTC Corp. may introduce larger tablet computers than the 7-inch screen “Flyer” device that the Taiwanese company unveiled Tuesday to challenge the dominance of Apple Inc.’s iPad.

“We’re working on several form factors,” HTC Chief Executive Officer Peter Chou said on the sidelines at an industry conference in Barcelona Tuesday when asked whether the company may offer bigger tablets. Sales from tablets are “extremely important” for the company, he said.

HTC, the Taiwanese maker of Google Inc. Android and Microsoft Corp. Windows-based mobile-phone handsets, Tuesday unveiled the HTC Flyer, a tablet featuring front- and rear- facing cameras.

HTC, based in Taoyuan, Taiwan, joins Samsung Electronics Co., Hewlett-Packard Co. and Research in Motion Ltd. in the market for tablets, now dominated by the iPad. Apple has sold more than 15 million iPads since its release in April, Apple Vice President Eddy Cue said Feb. 2. Global shipments of tablet devices will more than double this year, led by Apple and Android-based models, according to researcher IDC Corp. 
Peter Chou, chief executive officer of HTC Corp., displays the new 7-inch screen “Flyer” device during a news conference at the Mobile World Congress 2011 in Barcelona on Tuesday. (Bloomberg)
Peter Chou, chief executive officer of HTC Corp., displays the new 7-inch screen “Flyer” device during a news conference at the Mobile World Congress 2011 in Barcelona on Tuesday. (Bloomberg)


Samsung unveiled a newer tablet this week with a 10-inch screen, higher-quality cameras and the latest version of Android, which is also used in the HTC Flyer.

“We are not interested in rushing out another me-too device, and I don’t think any of you are either,” HTC’s Chou said at a press conference, where he introduced the new tablet. It will weigh about 415 grams (0.9 pound), or the weight of a paperback book, Chief Marketing Officer John Wang said.

HTC’s choice of a 7-inch screen comes after Samsung sold 2 million Galaxy tablets by the end of December, following its October release. Apple Chief Executive Officer Steve Jobs, whose iPad sold 3.3 million units in its first fiscal quarter of sales, told investors in October that 7-inch tablets will be “dead on arrival” because the screens are too small, and predicted rivals will increase the size in later versions.

HTC is looking to its own software to differentiate its devices from rival Android tablets. Its 30 million-pound ($48 million) acquisition of Saffron Media Group Ltd., which develops software for delivering content over the Internet, and its $40 million investment in games-on-demand provider OnLive Inc. may help HTC lure users to its tablets and smartphones.

The Flyer includes support for taking notes on-screen with a stylus, as well as playing back audio recordings from the time a note was written. The devices will begin shipping in the second quarter of this year, the company said.

HTC Tuesday also introduced five Android-based smartphones, including two that feature dedicated hardware connecting users to Facebook Inc.’s social-networking service.

Global tablet sales reached 17 million units last year and will climb to 44.6 million this year, Framingham, Massachusetts- based IDC said in January. That figure could climb to 70.8 million units next year, it added.

HTC is the world’s fifth-largest smartphone vendor, shipping 8.6 million units in the fourth quarter, IDC said Feb. 7. It trailed Nokia Oyj, Apple and Samsung, which was fourth with 9.7 million units, IDC said. (Bloomberg)

<한글 기사> 

HTC, MWC서 스마트 기기 5종 공개

HTC는 스페인 바르셀로나에서 열리는 MWC 2011 에서 태블릿PC `플라이어'와 `디자이어S', `와일드파이어 S' 등 스마트폰 4종을 공개했다고 16일 밝혔다.

HTC가 처음으로 내놓은 태블릿PC `플라이어(Flyer)'는 HTC 센스 UX(User Experience) 업그레이드 버전이 적용됐으며 HTML5와 플래시10을 지원한다.

터치 기능과 펜 인식 기능을 함께 지원해 회의 내용을 녹음하며 동시에 노트 필기를 할 수 있으며 필기된 단어를 선택해 그 부분의 녹음 내용을 바로 재생할 수도 있다.

또 HTC의 영상 서비스인 `HTC 와치'를 통해 HD급 영상을 저렴하게 내려받을 수 있으며 온라이브의 클라우드 게임 서비스도 탑재했다고 회사 측은 설명했다.

`플라이어'는 오는 2분기 전 세계 출시될 예정이다.

2010년 스마트폰의 후속작인 `디자이어S', `와일드파이어S', `인크레더블S'와 소셜네트워킹 전용 스마트폰 `차차'와 `살사'도 함께 공개됐다.
`디자이어S'는 퀄컴의 스냅드래곤 프로세서를 적용했으며 3.7인치 WVGA 디스플레이를 탑재했다.

보급형 모델인 `와일드파이어S'는 HTC 제품 중 가장 작은 스마트폰으로 3.2인치 디스플레이와 자동초점 기능의 500만 화소 카메라를 탑재했으며 `인크레더블S'는 4인치 WVGA 디스플레이와 800만 화소 카메라를 장착했다.

구글의 진저브레드 OS를 탑재한 `차차'와 `살사'는 페이스북의 주요 기능을 원터치로 이용할 수 있는 것이 특징이다.

페이스북을 통해 공유하거나 업데이트할 콘텐츠가 있으면 버튼 점멸 신호로 사용자에게 알려주는 기능을 갖췄다.

이번에 공개된 스마트폰 5종은 오는 2분기 유럽과 아시아를 중심으로 판매될 예정이다.

(연합뉴스)

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