HTC Files Trademark for Tablet in Possible Challenge to IPad

HTC Corp., the world’s largest maker of mobile phones using Google Inc.’s Android operating system, may be developing a tablet computer to rival Apple Inc.’s iPad.

HTC, based in Taoyuan, Taiwan, filed for a trademark for a product called HTC Scribe, describing it as a “handheld wireless device, namely a tablet computer.” The filing was recorded with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Dec. 26.

A tablet would provide a new growth stream for HTC, whose sales more than doubled last quarter from a year earlier. The company hasn’t announced a tablet and Chief Financial Officer Cheng Hui-Ming said in October that HTC is “studying the market.” Tablets have emerged as a top seller among consumer electronics this year after Apple released the iPad. That company sold 4.19 million units last quarter.

“This will provide an alternative to the iPad,” Will Stofega, program director at consulting firm IDC in Framingham, Massachusetts, said in an interview. “This will compete on pricing, and could be as good or better.”

HTC may launch a tablet during the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas next week or during February’s Mobile World Congress, Richard Ko, an analyst at KGI Research, said in a Dec. 13 report.

HTC rose 2.1 percent to NT$898 today in Taipei trading. The shares have more than doubled this year.

HTC makes the EVO 4G smartphone, which is capable of video calling and was the first phone sold in the U.S. to run over a 4G wireless network. The company’s mobile-phone market share climbed to 1.6 percent in the third quarter, from 0.9 percent a year earlier, according to Gartner Inc. in Stamford, Connecticut.

HTC spokesman Keith Nowak didn’t immediately return a request for comment.

To contact the reporter on this story: Olga Kharif in Portland, Oregon, at okharif@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Lisa Wolfson at lwolfson@bloomberg.net

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