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HTC profit triples on huge smartphone demand

The Taiwanese mobile phone maker posted record earnings and sales for the first quarter as a result of heavy consumer demand for its Android smartphones.

Smartphone maker HTC took home record profits and revenue in the first quarter thanks to surging consumption of its smartphone lineup.

HTC's Evo 4G Sarah Tew/CNET

For the quarter ended March 31, the Taiwanese company earned $14.8 billion in Taiwan dollars (US$513 million), almost triple the NT$5 billion profit from the year-ago quarter. Net income easily surpassed the average analyst estimate of NT$12.8 billion as compiled by Bloomberg.

Revenue soared to NT$104.2 billion, a gain of almost 175 percent from the prior year and a leap over the NT$95 billion forecast by the average analyst, said Bloomberg.

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HTC has been a major beneficiary of the rising demand for Android phones, especially those offering higher 4G speeds. Sold through Sprint, the HTC Evo 4G was the first 4G phone to hit the market. Adding to its high-speed lineup, the company recently unveiled the Thunderbolt through Verizon Wireless and the Inspire through AT&T.

Though HTC didn't reveal the number of smartphones shipped during the first quarter, it had announced in January that it expected to ship 8.5 million handsets, up 157 percent from a year ago. Looking ahead, HTC is branching out into the tablet market with its upcoming 7-inch Flyer, aka Evo View, slated to launch this spring.

HTC's market value recently surpassed that of global leader and rival Nokia, reported All Things D and other sources. The company is now worth around $33.8 billion, inching past Nokia's market capitalization of $32.84 billion.