HTC will be the next company to produce tablets based on Microsoft’s Windows RT platform, according to Bloomberg sources.
The troubled Taiwanese smartphone maker is believed to be working on a 12-inch tablet alongside a 7-inch sibling that will also be able to make phone calls. The devices are planned for release in the third quarter of 2013, the sources said.
The 7-inch tablet would be the first Windows RT tablet of this size and will be aimed at taking on Google’s Nexus 7, Amazon’s Kindle Fire and Apple’s iPad mini.
Windows RT has been designed specifically for devices with processors based on ARM’s technology, and the HTC tablets will use chips from Qualcomm.
An Intel-based tablet is understood to have been considered but rejected as it was thought the device would be too expensive to sell.
HTC’s entrance will bolster Microsoft’s attempts to take on Apple’s iPad and Android-based tablets. Microsoft launched its own Surface tablet running Windows RT earlier this year with Asus, Samsung, Dell and Lenovo also announced as the first to launch of Windows-based tablets.
Taiwanese publication Digitimes reported earlier this week that Nokia is working on a 10-inch Windows RT-based tablet and could unveil the device at the GSMA’s Mobile World Congress in February.
According to research house IDC, Microsoft will have a 2.9 percent share of the global tablet market by the end of the year compared to Apple’s majority share and more than 40 percent for Android.