HTC Hints at a Smartwatch and a ‘Nice and Disruptive’ Tablet

The ailing device maker is planning more than just smartphones.

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One my tech pet peeves is the overuse of the words “disruptive” and “innovative,” as if it’s so simple to just dream up products that will actually change the world.

So I got chuckle reading this story from the Financial Times, which interviews HTC CEO Peter Chou and Chairwoman Cher Wang:

“When the [HTC] tablet comes out it will be something nice and disruptive,” Ms Wang says. “There are a lot of devices to innovate . . . Ubiquitous intelligence is not just wearables.”

HTC tried to get into the tablet game a couple years ago with the Flyer and Jetstream. Both were overpriced, and Android was much less mature as a tablet operating system.

Today, Android tablets are more successful, but mainly by positioning themselves as cheaper alternatives to Apple’s iPad. The companies leading the low-end disruption are the ones who can afford not to profit on the actual hardware, such as Amazon with the Kindle Fire line and Google with the Nexus 7. It’s unclear what a “nice and disruptive” HTC tablet might look like by comparison.

At least HTC isn’t promising the world on smartwatches:

Mr Chou says that HTC worked on a smart watch with Microsoft several years ago, but is vague on when it might try again. “It’s still too early,” he says of the wearable-technology market, with many “version one”, “gimmick” experiences that lack style. “It has to meet a need, otherwise if it’s just a gimmick or concept, it’s not for people’s day-to-day lives. That is an opportunity for us,” he says.

It seems like a jab at Samsung, with its poorly-reviewed Galaxy Gear. Personally, I’ll be happy if HTC just keeps kicking out solid smartphones like the HTC One, though the company may need a better strategy if it wants to turn its fortunes around.