HTC released financial results which show a 58 per cent upswing in Q2 revenue and 33 per cent year-on year net-income growth to $268m.
The company started life in 1996 as a manufacturer of phones under numerous other brands but in 2006 it began selling smartphones under its own HTC brand. The company had produced a number of Windows Mobile-based handsets and made a name for itself by incorporating the latest technology such as high resolution screens with internal software development such as the HTC Sense front-end in an effort to make Windows Mobile more attractive and finger-friendly.
However it was the launch of Google’s open source Android operating system that resulted in a spectacular change of fortune. The company continued to support Windows Mobile in some handsets but it was the first to produce a handset based on Android with this being adopted by a major carrier as the T-Mobile G1 also known as the HTC Dream. By the time the company produced the HTC Hero, several carriers had adopted an Android-friendly policy.
Even Google turned to HTC to manufacture the Nexus One "Google Phone" but it was the HTC-branded version, the Desire, which gained the greatest uptake on mobile carriers worldwide yet – offering the same stunning OLED display, 1GHz CPU and a later version of the Android operating system fronted again by HTC’s internally developed Sense UI.
The company’s latest product, the HTC Evo 4G, has launched onto the US Sprint network as the first phone to handle 3G and next-generation 4G networks, in addition to offering a massive 4.3-inch screen and a later version of Android which will, the company says, be upgraded to Android 2.2 later in the year. Analysts have said that the Evo 4G stands to gain in the US smartphone market in the face of continued low availability of the iPhone 4.
To a large degree HTC has been in the right place at the right time to become synonymous with the relentless rise in popularity of Android. However HTC has always been agnostic about the operating system that it utilises with the company expected to play a major role in the launch of Microsoft’s re-entry into the smartphone market with Windows Mobile 7.
Android, however, will likely continue to dominate the bulk of HTC product sales in the medium term but other major brands of smartphone manufacturers are also expected to launch Android-based units later in the year.
In January market research outfit IDC predicted that Android would become the world number two operating system behind Symbian. Mobile phone application advert company Admob also reported that Android was the fastest growing smartphone operating system with traffic in application adverts increasing from 2 per cent in Feb 2009 to 24 per cent in Feb 2010.