It might just be a coincidence, but there could be a surprise in store for HTC fans at the company’s event later today. An image released by the company hints at a tablet about to be announced today. 

HTC is holding a simultaneous press event in London and New York, where the highly-anticipated HTC One (the smartphone formerly known as M7) will be announced. But there could be a surprise announcement or two that HTC has zealously guarded. Ahead of today’s press event, an image released by the company on its Instagram feed as well as on Twitter, shows a total of 13 devices covered by a thin fabric. One of the devices clearly looks like a 10-inch tablet.

Could this be the HTC tablet?

Could this be the HTC tablet?

The tweet is accompanied by the words “19.2.13 #HTC???”, hinting that a tablet is on its way at today’s announcement. So besides the expected unveiling of the HTC One and a couple of other smartphones, we could see the Taiwan-based company get back into the tablet game.

HTC's tweet with the picture of13 hidden devices

HTC's tweet with the picture of13 hidden devices

Adding to the curiousity, is Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu. They have also released a timer on the Ubuntu home page, which is counting down to the same time as the HTC announcement. The countdown clock sits alongside a mysterious ‘Tick, tock, tablet time!’ line.

The countdown on the Ubuntu website

The countdown on the Ubuntu website

HTC has not released a tablet since the ill-fated HTC Flyer, which came with a stylus, but was bogged down by a weak Android tablet ecosystem. It also was released in an era before Ice Cream Sandwich brought a measure of cohesion to Android.

Another interesting angle is that this could be the first tablet to dual-boot Android and Ubuntu. HTC is not likely release a tablet running only Ubuntu, as the OS has not reached any sort of maturity in the tablet space. Having Android along with Ubuntu allows HTC to position it as a  tablet not only for developers but also regular consumers, who will have access to the Google Play Store.

It could just as well be two separate announcements by Canonical and HTC, but the tablet image does reveal that not all of the company’s devices are as leaky as the HTC One. The HTC One has been in the news for quite a while, with renders and specs of the phone leaking with alarming regularity.

The likely specifications of the phone are:

  • 4.7-inch display with a 1080p resolution and pixel density of 468 ppi
  • 4G LTE, Wi-Fi 802.11ac, Wi-Fi hotspot
  • GPS with A-GPS
  • Bluetooth, Micro USB
  • 13-megapixel / 4.3-ultrapixel camera with 1080p video recording
  • 2 megapixel front-facing camera
  • 32GB of internal storage

It will likely be powered by the next-gen Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 or 800 CPU, but we will know for sure later in the day.

Canonical will be releasing its first Ubuntu mobile OS devices in October, but the company did say it will be releasing an early SDK for Android devices starting with the Galaxy Nexus and Nexus 4 on February 21. The OS banks heavily on being convergence-friendly and Canonical says the same device can be used as a PC, smartphone, tablet or a TV, depending on its state.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,