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HTC readying two more Flyer tablets for summer with Android 3.0

HTC's first Android tablet, the Flyer, is expected to go on sale soon, but rumours suggest the company is already working on two more devices with the more up-to-date Honeycomb software.

HTC's first Flyer tablet hasn't even gone on sale yet, but speculation is already focusing on the company's second and third models. Expected to launch this summer, they're likely to have bigger screens and run the Android 3.0 Honeycomb software.

DigiTimes bases the story on its Taiwanese touch-panel supplier sources. The article mainly focuses on the first Flyer, claiming it will go on sale "in small volumes", mainly in the US, late this month or in early April, with production only kicking into gear properly in May.

The company has run into trouble during the Flyer's production process, claims DigiTimes, although it doesn't go into details on whether these problems were related to the device itself, or just a shortage of components due to the current situation in Japan -- something that's also thought to be putting a squeeze on components for Apple's iPad 2.

The interesting part comes at the end of the story, though. "HTC plans to launch two Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) Flyer models in mid-2011, the sources indicated," it says.

That would correct one of the main drawbacks of the first Flyer, which was unveiled at Mobile Congress in February as an Android 2.4 Gingerbread device, although a Honeycomb update was expected to follow.

The new models are likely to have bigger screens too, following the same evolutionary path as Samsung's Galaxy Tab, which also had a 7-inch screen in its first incarnation. Indeed, HTC's plans for a 10-inch Flyer have already leaked out, courtesy of a list of devices in US retailer Staples' training catalogue. At the time, other Taiwanese media reports also mentioned two HTC tablets on the way in mid-2011.

What about DigiTimes' claims of production issues with the HTC Flyer, though, and what this means for the device's UK debut? Retailer Clove Technology recently put the first-gen tablet on pre-order with a £600 price and anticipated launch date of mid-April. Separately, a leaked roadmap from operator Three had the Flyer listed with a May debut.