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HTC rumour round-up: a Chrome tablet?

With all the iPhone rumours behind us for another year, the rumour mill now turns to the new kid on the block, and if speculation is correct, HTC has more than a few tricks up its sleeve for the end of the year.

With all the iPhone rumours behind us for another year, the rumour mill now turns to the new kid on the block, and if speculation is correct, HTC has more than a few tricks up its sleeve for the end of the year.

Chrome tablet

A render of a generic Chrome tablet. (Credit: Google)

This rumour comes a little out of left field, and early reports suggest it could just be for the US. According to Download Squad, the HTC-built tablet will run Chrome OS and be available on the US Verizon phone network in time for the Black Friday holiday shopping spree (the shopping-bonanza public holiday that falls on the day after Thanksgiving).

If the rumour is correct, the tablet will be a pocket powerhouse, running an Nvidia Tegra2 chip, 2GB of RAM, a 1280x720 resolution multi-touch display and 32GB of storage on a solid-state drive at least. This exciting rumour does come from a single, and relatively unknown, source so it'd be best to take it with a grain of salt.


Can you see the Desire HD hidden in the "dream" smoke? (Credit: HTC)

Let's start with the upcoming 15 September global launch in London. The hot tip would suggest that HTC plans to announce the Desire HD, a new top-end Android smartphone with a 4-inch touchscreen and all the other tech goodies we've come to expect from a phone of this calibre. However, we have it on good authority that HTC plans to launch another phone on the same day, but we have absolutely no idea what it's planning; is it an Android companion for the Desire HD? Or maybe we'll see the first to its Windows Mobile devices?

There are also a couple of other product names floating around that appear to be associated with Android. Before we heard about the Desire HD, the product names Ace and Vision were bandied about online. The popular thinking is that the HTC Ace will in fact be the Desire HD, and that the Vision has been renamed Desire Z, but no details have emerged to indicate what features the Z might include, or how it will differentiate from the HD.

To add to the mix there is also the HTC Bee and HTC Lexikon, two handsets in development and ready to launch with the Froyo firmware (Android OS 2.2). Leaked details suggest both will be less powerful than the Desire (the Bee will have a 528MHz processor, Lexikon an 800MHz chip) and will have smaller screens than the new HD model. In fact, it seems as though Bee will replace Wildfire in the HTC range and Lexikon will step into the shoes of the Legend, but presumably with the soon-to-be-updated version of HTC's Sense UI.

Windows Phone 7

The HTC Schubert (Credit: 247windowsphone)

The other big push for the end of the year will come from Microsoft's new mobile OS, Windows Phone 7 (WP7). HTC committed to producing WP7 handsets from the very beginning, and leaks online suggest we could be in for a range of symphony-titled handsets.

Months ago we were treated to a supposedly leaked Telstra document showing the HTC Mozart, though the image on the document was clearly an HTC Desire with the WP7 interface photoshopped on top. More recently a video hit the net showing the HTC Schubert in action, a stylishly designed Desire-esque phone smoothly running Microsoft's new system. Previous HTC releases would suggest the company intends to launch more than one WP7 phone before year's end, but we're guessing the Mozart and Schubert are probably the same beast.

In the same leak as the Bee and Lexikon, there is also a third handset mention, the HTC Spark, which will reportedly run on WP7. As per the minimum WP7 specs laid out by Microsoft, the Spark is a much more powerful phone than the Bee or Lexikon, with a 1GHz processor and a WVGA display.