HTC is re-entering the tablet market after being selected by Google to manufacture its upcoming Nexus 9 device.
After disappointing sales of its own Flyer tablet in 2011, it was believed that HTC would be sticking to its smartphone range, but sources indicate that engineers have been travelling to Google's Mountain View HQ to work on the new project.
Google and HTC, however, have both declined to comment on whether they are collaborating on a new Nexus tablet.
While HTC has a mixed track-record when it comes to tablets, Google's decision to not go with more established brands like Samsung reflects the firm's policy of building a broad base of partners. The search engine giant also likes to avoid any single manufacturer gaining a monopoly over its devices.
HTC's strong performance in the smartphone market may also have been an encouraging factor for Google. The company's flagship One handset has been named the best Android smartphone by several reviewers over the last two years.
Google's decision not to ask Samsung to manufacture the tablet may also reflect a deteriorating relationship between the two tech giants, with Google rumoured to be wary of the South Korean firm becoming too dominant in the Android market.
Google did not confirm the specific reason for switching partners with its Nexus devices, but did praise the variety available on the Android OS.
"Android is a vibrant ecosystem, and many of the industry players are doing very well. There's room for many partners to do well and to innovate with Android," it said.
HTC will also be keen to gain a foothold in other industry sectors as it faces tough competition in the smartphone market from larger corporations and the emergence of budget handsets in developing markets. The firm will be hoping that the Nexus deal has a similar impact as it did on Asus, which saw a double figures rise in profits following the release of its Nexus 7 tablet in 2012.