From being the first manufacturer to produce an Android phone with the HTC Dream/T-Mobile G1 to collaborating with Google to create the Nexus One, HTC is a company whose name is almost synonymous with Android. Hence it is not too surprising to hear that HTC might be joining the latest craze by building its own Android tablet. This new rumor arises from a press conference in Johannesburg, South Africa, where the company was launching a few of its latest smartphones. Quinton Leigh, HTC Managing Director for the country, stated that it is developing an Android tablet to compete with rivals such as the iPad, as well as new audio/visual features for its smartphones, including 1080p full HD video recording and 5.1 surround sound.
No other details of this potential tablet were forthcoming, but Mr. Leigh did add that it might not be an actual tablet. Could this imply that HTC will be making a return to the slide-and-tilt form factor featured in the HTC Shift UMPC? I think I am not alone in saying an updated Shift-style device running Android would be an extremely welcome surprise and have a key advantage over most other tablets, including the iPad, with its full hardware keyboard.
As for the 1080p video recording and 5.1 surround sound, Mr. Leigh said we can expect the former by Q2 2011 and the latter sometime before then, with HTC working with Yamaha who will supply the sound hardware for the devices. Let us know your thoughts on a potential HTC tablet and the new audio/visual features the company has planned for your next smartphone.[PhoneReport via Liliputing]