HTC smartphone profits rise 160%

Peter Chou, HTC chief executive HTC's chief Peter Chou says the company might add a tablet computer to its product range

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HTC, the Taiwanese smartphone maker that has emerged as a major rival to Apple's iPhone, saw net profits rise 160% during the October to December quarter compared with a year earlier.

HTC was the first smartphone maker to use Google's Android operating system.

Net profits rose to New Taiwan dollars 14.59bn ($500m; £315m) on the back of NT$104bn sales.

The company sold 24.6 million phones last year, more than double the 2009 figure.

Growth is expected to remain rapid this year, with the company predicting some 8.5 million handsets to be sold during the January to March quarter this year.

The company will also start making tablet computers to challenge Apple's iPad.

"It's a new market with many competitors, and we don't want to rush into it," Peter Chou, HTC chief executive, said.

"We hope the product we eventually unveil will be one that meets consumers' needs."

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