Following tepid consumer reception of Microsoft's Surface RT, HTC has reportedly backed out of plans to develop a full-sized Windows RT tablet of its own. Citing the potential for lackluster demand, the Taiwanese-based company wants to instead focus its attention on releasing a 7-inch device later this year. It's that whole cost/risk that's turning HTC away.
With HTC turning its back on the full-sized RT market, what's to stop other companies from doing the same? According to Bloomberg, the company doesn't want to take the risk because the costs will outweigh the benefits, especially when Microsoft's own device hasn't made a particulary big impression.
HTC is dealing with declining sales as it is—held up by the recent HTC One—which is causing the company to pick and choose its battles. Unlike Samsung, which seemingly has a new product every fortnight, HTC can't quite be so cavalier. A recent IDC report claims only 200,000 tablets running Windows RT were sold during Q1 of this year, further highlighting how little interest there has been in anything that's not Android or iOS.
When HTC does muster up a 7-inch tablet, Bloomberg's sources say it'll launch in September or October, with Qualcomm as the chip supplier of choice. HTC, expectedly, refused to comment on the report. With HTC's latest HTC One stunt, it's difficult to pin down what the company has planned for the future. But ditching the larger tab market certainly makes sense, particularly since the report claims HTC planned on charging consumers a lot for the tablet in the first place.
The next wave of Windows RT tablets will likely be the 7-inch variety, so HTC will definitely have some competition to contend with. However, the company has proven itself as one of the better hardware designers out there, giving it a potential edge if/when HTC does release a 7-inch Windows RT tab.