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HTC may get into Windows tablet game

The Taiwanese smartphone manufacturer is reportedly working on a 12-inch and 7-inch version of a tablet running on Windows RT.

HTC CEO Peter Chou holds aloft the HTC Rezound.
HTC CEO Peter Chou at an event last year. Sarah Tew/CNET

HTC is working on a pair of tablets running Microsoft's Windows RT operating system, according to Bloomberg.

HTC is mulling two tablets, a 12-inch version that is larger than most standard models, and a 7-inch version that is better able to compete with the likes of Amazon's Kindle Fire HD and Apple iPad Mini, according to the report, which cited anonymous sources.

Microsoft is hoping to expand its lineup on tablets running on the Windows RT operating system, which is a stripped-down version of Windows 8 that is able to run on the more power-efficient ARM chip architecture -- the same kind of chip that runs most smartphones and tablets.

While Microsoft has its own Surface tablet in the game with a 10.6-inch screen, the varied sizes from HTC could cater to different types of consumers.

It would mark the first time HTC re-entered the tablet market since its poorly received Flyer, which was known as the Evo View at Sprint Nextel and the Jetstream for AT&T. The smaller tablet was launched at the beginning of the tablet craze, but never resonated with consumers.

CNET contacted HTC and Microsoft for comment, and we'll update the story when we get a response.

HTC is expected to launch the tablets in the third quarter, according to the report. The Taiwanese company also considered a tablet running on the more robust Windows 8 operating system, but scrapped the plans when it realized it would have to charge more money for the product, according to Bloomberg.

Its tablet push comes as its smartphone market share erodes amid continued dominance by Apple and Samsung. Once a darling in the Android community, it has seen its phones -- which have won critical praise -- ignored in favor of Samsung's Galaxy S line.

HTC and Microsoft have recently reinforced their ties through their Windows Phone relationship. Microsoft picked HTC to make the flagship Windows Phone 8 device, and its two smartphones carry the operating system's name.