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HTC Enjoys Q3 Sales Boom

Although it missed analysts' predictions, High Tech Computer Corp. (HTC) (Taiwan: 2498) reported a net profit of about $220 million for the third quarter 2008.

The profit was a 4.9% drop from the same period last year, but the company attributed part of that dip to "typhoon weather" that caused delays in shipment in September. Additionally, HTC said revenues rose 30% to nearly $1.2 billion, and the company said it still expects 20% to 30% growth for 2008 revenue.

The handset manufacturer once primarily sold cell phones that were rebranded by wireless carriers, but it has been making much headway with its HTC-branded Windows Mobile smartphones like the Touch. According to Gartner Research, the company trailed only Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) and BlackBerry for second-quarter smartphone sales around the globe.

HTC is preparing for a busy fourth quarter, as the handset manufacturer is expected to release highly coveted devices like the Touch HD, and the U.S. releases of the Touch Diamond and the Touch Pro. Additionally, HTC will be bringing out the first Android-powered handset for T-Mobile in late October, and some analysts are predicting that the G1 will capture 4% of the entire U.S. smartphone market in the fourth quarter.

But the next couple of quarters will be rife with competition in the smartphone market, and particularly with touch-screen multimedia smartphones. Along with existing popular devices like Apple's iPhone 3G and the Samsung Instinct, HTC will be competing with the first touch-screen BlackBerry Storm, as well as Nokia's recently introduced XpressMusic 5800 smartphone.

— Marin Perez, InformationWeek

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