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HTC Flyer tablet arriving by summer, but Android 3.0 not included?

HTC's Android is following up its hugely impressive smart phones with a big tablet push in 2011, starting with the HTC Flyer, which could be available in the UK by this summer.

HTC's Android smart phones impressed millions of users -- and more than a few reviewers -- in 2010. Now the company is preparing a big tablet push in 2011, starting with the HTC Flyer. The device could be available in the US as soon as March, according to DigiTimes, and then in other countries by the summer.

We don't have a pic yet, but the Flyer is described as looking like "an enlarged version of HTC's Desire", and is likely to be sold through mobile operators in a similar way to the Samsung Galaxy Tab.

The bad news? DigiTimes' sources claim the HTC Flyer will run Android 2.3, rather than the tablet-focused 3.0 Honeycomb version of Google's OS. The claim you'll be able to upgrade to Honeycomb when it becomes available means you might be left tapping your feet, waiting for your operator to push Android 3.0 out.

Then again, if the HTC Flyer makes its UK debut closer to the summer, it's entirely possible it will come with Honeycomb preloaded. Keep your fingers crossed.

Two more HTC tablets, running Honeycomb out of the box, are expected to go on sale in June.

What we don't know -- but are happy to speculate about -- is what plans HTC has for putting extra software and services on to the Flyer and its other tablets. The HTC Sense software has won plenty of praise on the company's smart phones, so how will it be improved for tablets?

The company may take a leaf out of HP's book. Engadget claims its new webOS tablets will come with "a huge amount of cloud storage", including possibly the ability to store your music collection on HP's servers to stream to the tablet. With HTC's Sense already sporting a few cloud features, it could easily move in that direction too.