HTC will launch three tablet devices - the first of which will be called the Flyer - in the first half of 2011 according to reports from Taiwan, where the company is based.
Handset component suppliers have told Digitimes that the Flyer tablet will be available in the US from March. They also informed that the tablet will visually resemble an enlarged version of the HTC Desire Smartphone, a strategy that was pioneered by Apple (iPod Touch, iPhone 4 and iPad) and emulated by Samsung (Galaxy S, Galaxy Tab, Galaxy Player).
Surprisingly, it looks like HTC will use 2.3 Gingerbread to begin with rather than the tablet specific 3.0 Honeycomb, a move that may prevent the device from using the Android Market. It is likely that HTC will partner with a carrier and launch the Flyer before the RIM Playbook in March, the Motorola Xoom in April and the Apple iPad 2 in June, in order to capitalise on the first-mover advantage.
The Flyer will probably be launched in other markets within a few weeks of its US launch - with an upgrade to Honeycomb as part of the plan - and two other tablets will be launched towards the end of the first half of the year that will run on Android 3.0.
Expect HTC to show off the Flyer and the two other tablets at the forthcoming Mobile World Congress event, that will take place in Barcelona from the 14th of February 2011.