We previously told you that HTC is gearing up to launch a tablet with a stylus later this year. They are calling it the Puccini and it’s said to include a 10.1-inch display plus a 1.5GHz processor, 4G LTE modem and HTC’s Sense interface on top of Honeycomb software. Today, their finance chief Winston Yung indicated that the device might launch at the end of the third quarter or early fourth quarter, reports DigiTimes, quoting the Chinese-language Liberty Times. It’s the first official confirmation we’ve gotten concerning the Puccini launch date and with a fourfold sales increase in China, the Puccini should be off to a nice start.

The company should also benefit from an increase of sales outlets in the country from 650 to about 2,000 by the end of the year. HTC is embroiled in a legal spat with Apple over an alleged patent infringement involving the iPhone. Today, HTC countersued Apple, Reuters reported, charging that Macs and all iOS devices infringe upon their patents, a day following Google’s stunning $12.5 billion takeover bid for Motorola Mobility. Per latest Nielsen survey, HTC is America’s #2 smartphone maker and the nation’s leading Android vendor accounting for a 14 percent of all Android smartphones sold. The company shipped 12.1 million phones in the second quarter for a 104 percent revenue growth year-over-year.

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