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HTC Puccini Android tablet takes on iPad

HTC will take on the iPad before the end of the year, with the 10-inch HTC Puccini Android tablet arriving in September or October.

HTC will take on the iPad before the end of the year. The company that defined Android with its phones will directly challenge Apple's all-conquering slate with the 10-inch HTC Puccini Android tablet in September or October.

The date was revealed by HTC's chief financial officer Winston Yung in Taiwan. Price is yet to be revealed, or which countries will see the tablet in action.

We'd hazard a guess it won't keep the Puccini name when it goes on sale -- HTC prefers names like Hero and Sensation and Fanbloodytastic to the name of an Italian composer, even if he did write Madame Butterfly, La Bohème and Nessun Dorma.

Word on the street is that the Puccini will pack a 1.5GHz processor and an 8-megapixel camera. The first pictures were captured by Boy Genius Report earlier this year.

HTC's first foray into tablet territory was the HTC Flyer, a 7-inch slate that lets you both poke the touchscreen with a finger and prod it with a stylus. The Flyer is powered by the phone-sized Gingerbread version of Android rather than Honeycomb, the version designed for a tablet's larger screen. The Puccini will use Honeycomb, however, possibly with HTC's clever Sense interface lovingly smoothed on top.

As a 10-inch tablet, the Puccini will be a rival to the Apple iPad 2, Motorola Xoom, HP TouchPad and Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1. That's if Apple hasn't sued them all out of existence by the time it hits shops, a tactic it's used on the Tab 10.1.

The Tab 10.1 has been banned from sale in Europe, although it is back on sale until the hearing at the end of the month. HTC is currently embroiled in a legal spat with Apple, but then who isn't? HTC's case sees Apple claiming the company has infringed two patents.

No other tablet has yet achieved the success and sales of the iPad -- could the Puccini be a contender to the Apple slate's success? Can HTC bring its Android phone skills to bear on a tablet?

Will you pucker up for the Puccini? Sing us an aria in the comments section below or on our Facebook page.