Strong Android sales have enabled smartphone manufacturer HTC to log another successful quarter, solidifying its standing as a major contender in the mobile device market.
The company on July 6 announced profits of $268 million for the second quarter of 2010, according to the Wall Street Journal. The figure represented HTC's highest profits since 2007, with its net income jumping 33 percent and its total revenues increasing by 58.45 percent year over year.
HTC's results are also cheering news for Google, maker of the Android mobile operating system that has proven to be the key to rapid growth for HTC.
While HTC still makes a few handsets running Microsoft's Windows Mobile, it's Android-based handsets such the Evo 4G, the Droid Incredible, the Google-branded Nexus One and the T-Mobile-branded MyTouch 3 that have gained new customers for HTC in the United States and increasingly around the world.
Yuanta Securities analyst Bonnie Chang told the Journal, "We expect the strong momentum to continue in the second half of the year, as HTC will launch another round of new smartphone models in the third quarter." Chang is forecasting shipments of HTC handsets to grow from 2009's 12 million to approximately 20 million units in 2010.
Some have called Apple's lawsuit against HTC-whose handsets, Apple claims, infringe on several its iPhone-related patents-an early sign of HTC's growing prominence, or perhaps more correctly of the growing popularity of Android handsets.
"I don't think Apple looks at HTC as a nemesis or anything," Roger Kay, principal analyst for Endpoint Technologies, told eWEEK. "It's Android, not HTC, that matters."
Market research company IDC has projected that Android will be the No. 2 mobile OS worldwide by 2013, behind only Symbian, achieving the fastest growth of any mobile operating system ever. An early 2010 report from AdMob, which looked at smartphone traffic over the networks, likewise found Android to be the fastest-growing OS in use, with ad requests increasing from 2 percent in February 2009 to 24 percent in February 2010.
Kay added that, like Asian brands Acer and Asustek Computer, HTC has successfully made the transition from being an ODM (original design manufacturer), selling products that are branded by the companies that purchase them, to being an OEM and having its brand name associated with successful products.
"HTC has actually done a pretty good job of coming out of the gate as a brand," Kay said. "The products look good, they've got a good environment, they've chosen good fonts for the name-they've hitched their products to Android, which has paid off."
HTC's second-quarter figures represent the three months ending March 31. Its Evo 4G smartphone, which debuted on the Sprint network June 4, is likely to do good work toward boosting the company's fourth-quarter earnings. In addition to a gorgeous 4.3-inch display, the Evo 4G features cameras on its front and back, can act as a mobile hot spot for up to eight devices, supports Adobe Flash, is upgradable to Android 2.2 and is the first smartphone in the United States to run on both 3G and 4G networks.
Additionally-and perhaps ever so slightly one-upping Apple, as the white iPhone 4 is still nowhere to be found-the white version of the Evo 4G, according to Engadget, was spotted at Best Buy stores July 6, several days ahead of schedule.