The new Motorola Mobility grabbed the product headlines at the CES show this week, but what it really needs are the kind of hard financial results that its Android arch-rival HTC is enjoying. The Taiwanese vendor reported that its fourth quarter net profit almost trebled year-on-year as it saw strong growth in smartphone sales.
Net profit was up to NT$14.59 billion ($499m) from NT$5.53 billion a year earlier. Revenue more than doubled to NT$104.01 billion from NT$41.07 billion. HTC offered little breakdown of the figures, but said growth of Android and Windows Mobile phones had both been strong factors.
HTC has benefited in recent quarters from a major international marketing and branding campaign in the US and Europe; a push into China under its own brand; and a switch to chipsets with higher performance and multimedia capabilities, but lower costs.
It has also created an impressively agile design cycle which allows it to release large numbers of products and variations, and to respond to market changes.
This week, HTC announced its second Wimax handset, and it is the market leader in Windows handsets, with several models running the new Windows Phone 7. It is also set to ship LTE smartphones and tablets this year.
“A bigger than expected underlying market size, combined with continued strength in Android smartphones, should benefit key players such as HTC,” Credit Suisse said in a research report, as quoted by Reuters.
“We believe Android momentum remains strong... we might be still underestimating its growth potential.”
For the full year, HTC's unaudited net profit rose 74% to NT$39.33 billion on revenue up 93% to NT$278.76 billion.