Back in the beginning of 2011, HTC chose to exit the tablet market after its efforts in the space failed to trigger the demand the company was expecting -- so much so that one of the pioneers of Android felt compelled to give it up. Now, over three years later, the rumor mill is restlessly spitting out rumors that, if true, would mean that HTC is ready for a comeback. Indeed, as is the case in the mobile industry, when there's smoke, there's usually also fire, though that doesn't preclude us from being cautious. That's precisely why we're glad to see a high-ranking HTC exec finally break the silence and publicly announce (indirectly at least) that the company will be building the rumored 8.9-inch Nexus 9.
Focus Taiwan, Jack Tong, president of HTC North Asia, told members of the press in a briefing that the Nexus 9 represents "HTC's commitment" to what is its second charge into the tablet market. Tong said that the Nexus 9 will hit Taiwanese stores sometime in the fourth quarter, further fueling speculation that an October 16th event centered around the next Google tablet is in the cards. HTC's is scheduled to hold an event later today in New York, though that one will most likely be focused on the rumored HTC Desire Eye and its supposed 13-megapixel front-facing camera, not the Nexus 9.According to
Dialing back a little, were we not talking about a Nexus device, we'd probably have to question HTC's seemingly random decision to enter the tablet market. After all, the tablet market isn't exactly ripe for the taking anymore, and even Apple is having a hard time pushing increasing numbers of iPads to consumers -- demand has begun to level off, basically. What's more, unless Google suddenly decides to charge a more standard sum for the Nexus 9, we'd expect a pretty attractive price point -- likely too low for HTC to make some serious buck. That said, a widely-popular and affordable Nexus 9 may very well be a part of HTC's strategy, as it could provide a great benchmark for HTC tablets that consumers can later rely on, should the company decide to invest itself fully into the category.