HTC rides Android to record quarter

Taiwan handset maker sees Q3 revenue more than double, profits rise

Riding the growing popularity of smartphones and its own success in building a brand, handset maker HTC Corp. on Wednesday announced impressive third-quarter results.

The Taiwan-based manufacturer on Wednesday reported more than doubling third-quarter revenue from a year earlier and nearly doubling net income.

HTC's Q3 revenue was NT$75.85 billion ($2.46 billion), a 124 percent increase over sales of NT$33.88 billion in last year's third quarter. Net income was NT$11.1 billion ($360 million), up 95 percent from last year's NT$5.7 billion, and easily beating a consensus forecast of NT$8.7 billion by Thomson Reuters. Earnings per share also nearly doubled to NT$13.61 from NT$7.18 a year ago.

While it was phones using Microsoft's Windows mobile OS that helped HTC quickly carve out a respectable market share when it made the transition from handset contractor branded manufacturer, it's Android that currently drives HTC growth. As I noted on Tuesday, for most of 2010 Android phones have outsold iPhones and BlackBerries. HTC has four of the five top-selling Android phones (Motorola has No. 1, the Droid).

With smartphone sales expected to continue growing, and with excellent positioning in the hot Android OS space (plus two new Android models coming out for the holidays), it's a good bet HTC will keep increasing its smartphone market share, which was 14.4 percent in the second quarter, according to technology marketing research firm Canalys. RIM was the leader with 32.1 percent of smartphone sales in Q2, with Apple second with 21.7 percent.

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