Dec, 11 2012

It’s no lie that the Android tablet scene is a tough cookie for OEMs. While Android phones took off with nary a problem, the growth of the tablet side of things has been a little more stagnant. We knew some OEMs were feeling the effects of it, and it appears HTC is the latest. The Taiwanese company has bowed out of the tablet game in the United States for the foreseeable future. HTC might even be the first big OEM to make such a move.

Things started off slow for HTC in the early going. It had a bit of an advantage as the Flyer was one of the first mainstream tablets available that didn’t have the Archos or Coby name slapped on. It seemed the timing was off, however, as Samsung had beaten them to the table and the Flyer launched way too close to Android 3.0. They were too early and too late at the same time.

HTC tried to redeem themselves with the Jetstream, but by that time the Galaxy series had taken off and the company also suddenly found itself contending with very compelling offers from the likes of ASUS with the launch of its Transformer line.

A spokesperson from HTC says the company will play the wait and see approach. The strategy is to take a step back and gauge the market. The company says they don’t want to offer “me, too” experiences just for the sake of competing and would rather wait until they can offer something unique to the masses.

That claim could be challenged a couple of different ways. For starters, HTC did offer something unique at the time it first tried its hand at this growing market. The Flyer showed a lot of promise with its capacative stylus and unique applications that were based on it.

Then, the HTC Jetstream attempted to go bigger and bolder. With the latest version of Android and HTC Scribe support it was sure to be a hit, no? Well, some would say AT&T made a huge blunder by making the stylus take a backseat and with the egregious pricing strategy it employed.

My second point would be to simply look at the phone space. Let’s call a spade a spade, here — that’s about as big of a “me, too” market as you can be involved in. Innovation comes at a premium and the fact of the matter is that there’s very little separating one phone from the next. HTC has no problem competing there, however, because it makes them a ton of dough.

Perhaps the question isn’t whether or not I believe the stance HTC is taking; after all, the job of public relations is to say what you have to say in the least offensive and least self-hurting way possible. But it would be nice to know which side of the “it’s not you, it’s me” shtick they’re on.

Regardless, they’ve let it be known that the market simply isn’t for them right now, and perhaps it’s for the best for both HTC and users of its handsets, Read the full statement below. [via Fierce Wireless, quote source]

“HTC is pleased with the results of our first foray into tablets—the HTC Flyer, EVO View 4G, and HTC Jetstream—and like any products in the mobile space that were release some time ago, our tablets have run through their planned lifecycles. We’re continuing to watch the tablet market very, very closely for the right opportunity to re-enter in a way in which we’re not just offering a “me too” tablet, but a product that’s compelling, differentiated, and inspiring to our customers.”

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