(For other news from the Reuters Global Technology Summit,
* Sees fast growth in tablet market
* Sees benefit from Nokia-Microsoft software deal
* To unveil NFC model within 12 months
(Adds comments, details)
By Tarmo Virki, European Technology Correspondent
PARIS, May 17 Smartphone maker HTC (2498.TW)
plans to roll out a range of different tablet computers to gain
a foothold in the fast-growing market, a company executive said
The global market for tablets, started only last year with
Apple's (AAPL.O) iPad, will likely grow to 108 million devices
next year, compared with just 17.6 million in 2010, according to
research firm Gartner.
"I really believe that the tablet market is really going to
be a big market in the future and this is just the start," HTC
Europe head Florian Seiche told the Reuters Global Technology
"In five years' time, schools will have tablets probably
instead of physical notebooks. I think that's going to be such a
massive wave of additional penetration in society... I think we
can't even guess the potential."
Seiche said HTC's first tablet, the Flyer, had made a good
start in terms of sales.
"It's early days but we feel very good about it," he said.
HTC should benefit from Nokia's NOK1V.HE deal to start
using Microsoft's (MSFT.O) software in its smartphones as this
will boost Windows' share of the smartphone market, Seiche said.
"It will not change our commitment to Microsoft," he said.
"With a new player entering, it should actually help to elevate
the relevance of that platform ... we actually feel that we
should be able to benefit."
Microsoft's mobile platform has rapidly lost appeal among
consumers who have instead picked iPhones, BlackBerrys and
phones running on Google's (GOOG.O) Android platform, which
became market leader in the last quarter. It now controls only
around 3 percent of the smartphone market.
"The long-term opportunity with Nokia entering will
definitely bring Windows back to critical mass," Seiche said at
the summit at the Reuters office in Paris.
HTC uses Microsoft software, although its growth has mostly
come from smartphones using Google's Android platform.
"Android has had tremendous growth and we believe that this
trend is going to continue, definitely," Seiche said. "Android's
growth ... is going to expand further to Asia and the emerging
Seiche added that he expects HTC to roll out its first
mobile phone using near-field communications (NFC) technology
for mobile payments within the next 12 months.
NFC is a short-range way to swap data wirelessly, meaning
mobile phones can become a way to pay for goods, store e-tickets
or swap photos and business cards.
For more on the Reuters Global Technology Summit, see
(Reporting by Tarmo Virki; Editing by James Regan)
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Keywords: TECH SUMMIT/HTC
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