Sunday, January 23, 2011

Smartphone rivals nip HTC’s heels

A year ago, Taiwan's HTC was a well-regarded but relatively minor player in the mobile phone industry – acclaimed as the maker of the first Android phone but its sales of 11m units in 2009 was a fraction of market leader Nokia's and just half that of Apple's iPhone.

Over the past year, however, HTC has doubled in size and the "quietly brilliant" phone maker, as its advertising slogan goes, has emerged as a key winner in the smartphone race.

Rivals such as Nokia and LG were forced into high-profile management shuffles as they scrambled to catch up.

HTC sold 25m phones in 2010 and saw revenues rise 90 per cent from a year ago to T$275bn ($9.4bn) while pre-tax profit rose 76 per cent to T$44.5bn.

Its shares outperformed the benchmark Taiwan equity index by 158 per cent last year.

A global advertising push, the first in HTC's history, last year also helped establish its brand as a major smartphone player in consumers' eyes.


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