Smartphone maker HTC was one of the first manufacturers two years ago to announce devices for the then-unproven Android mobile OS. It was a gamble — there was no guarantee that the new platform would survive, even with Google’s muscle behind it. If HTC’s latest financials are any guide, that gamble is paying dividends (literally!).
The company reported a $268 million profit for the just ended quarter, up a third over last year. It also sold 4.5 million phones just in April — beating current smartphone juggernaut Apple and its iconic iPhone as consumers pulled back from the iPhone 3GS in anticipation of the iPhone 4.
HTC had for much of its corporate life focused on Windows-powered devices. However with Microsoft’s mobile phone division apparently in chaos, and the company’s mobile focus on its Windows Phone 7 operating system due later this year, the company is increasingly turning to Android as its primary operating system.
That said, we should mention that the Taiwanese smartphone maker remains the top purveyor of Windows-powered devices. It’s clear though that HTC may be more willing to invest more heavily in Android given the company’s profits have soared as the company manufactures more devices based on Google’s mobile OS.
Phones such as the Droid Incredible and the EVO are helping the company to gain more brand recognition among consumers, which is something it did not enjoy as a Windows-mobile only manufacturer. Several of its models are hard to find, indicating demand is outstripping supply.
One has to wonder as well if Apple’s issues with the iPhone 4 — both the hardware and availablity — may give HTC an added boost over the next couple of months. Not everybody is as brand-loyal to Apple as some may think…