The chief executive for HTC says his company is considering offering a netbook, if it can come up with a design that will stand out from the competition.
Most of HTC’s focus is on smartphones, a category that’s selling very well. However, netbooks are also doing quite well, and one of HTC’s largest competitors, Nokia, recently released one, the Booklet 3G.
When Peter Chou was asked recently about making a small-and-light laptop, he responded by saying that his company is “carefully looking into that category and how it can be part of that”. Coming up with something “unique” would be be a requirement, though.
Return of the HTC Shift?
It could be argued that HTC has already released a netbook; the HTC Shift has a 7-inch touchscreen that slides up to reveal a full QWERTY keyboard. It weighs in at only 1.7 pounds.
This model runs Windows Vista on an Intel 800 MHz processor, and offers Wi-Fi (b/g) and Bluetooth 2.0, as well as 3G cellular-wireless networking.
While the Shift has the size and specifications of a netbook, it doesn’t have the price generally seen in this category: it debuted at over $1,500 last year, a factor that has kept it a niche model.
With this experience under its belt, HTC would likely design its next netbook to be significantly more affordable.
No ARM Support in Windows 7
One cost and power saving option HTC might like to turn to, but won’t be able to is an ARM-based processor. Its smartphones use these, but Microsoft has no plans of releasing a version of Windows 7 that supports this processor family.
Microsoft corporate vice president Mike Nash for Windows Platform Strategy said that his company will reserve ARM processor for its Windows CE family of operating systems, which includes Windows Mobile.