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HTC to expand sales of smartphones

29 апреля 2010

HTC, the Taiwanese smartphone maker, on Wednesday said it would aggressively expand sales of its smartphones on the back of the growing popularity of Google's Android operating system.

The group plans to increase shipments by nearly 50 per cent over the next three months, from 3.3m handsets in the first quarter to 4.5m in the second quarter, as a number of its new phone models begin to reach consumers.

Cheng Hui-ming, chief financial officer, said these numbers “indicate the growing popularity of the Android platform in Europe and the US”.

HTC was the world's first handset maker to release an Android phone and the manufacturer of the Google Nexus One phone, and has been one of the biggest beneficiaries of Google's push into the mobile internet market.

Mr Cheng said concerns about a smartphone price war dragging down profits, and worries that HTC would be lost in a sea of competition without its own operating system, had been overdone.

“From our first and second quarter numbers, you can clearly see that we have maintained competitiveness and can differentiate ourselves,” he said.

HTC's first-quarter revenues rose 20 per cent from T$31.41bn (US$1bn) last year to T$37.95bn while net profit increased slightly from T$4.87bn to T$5bn. The company expects second-quarter revenue to reach T$50bn.

HTC's performance contrasts with competitors such as struggling Palm, which is seeking a buyer, and Nokia, which has suffered delays in launching advanced smartphones based on its Symbian platform, and saw the average selling price of its smartphones decline sharply.

Mr Cheng said HTC fared better than its rivals because “our product refresh cycle is faster than our competitors . . . if your plan was made two years before you launch your phone, then the design and pricing probably will not match the changes in the market”.

He acknowledged, however, that while smartphones would remain a premium product in the near future, the industry trend was for prices to fall.

“The definition of what is a mid to top-tier phone has changed,” Mr Cheng said. Several years ago HTC had phones selling for US$349 after subsidies in the US “but a premium phone is now US$199”.

Mr Cheng said that while HTC had launched a mid-priced phone model called the HTC Smart, the goal was to bring the “entire product line to the mass market” to establish sufficient scale to compete with far bigger competitors Nokia and Samsung.

HTC, which is also the world's biggest maker of Windows Mobile-based phone's, said it would launch a phone using Microsoft's upcoming Windows Mobile 7 platform within the year.


Источник: Financial Times

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