HTC's patent problems
Using Google’s Android software has given HTC a boost, but it may now make the Taiwanese handset-maker vulnerable to costly lawsuits
Jul 21st 2011 | TAOYUAN, TAIWAN | from The Economist print edition
UNTIL a few years ago HTC was pretty small and relatively obscure. But the Taiwanese company’s recent growth has been remarkable. In the second quarter it sold 11m smartphones, more than doubling its revenues in the same period last year. HTC’s main rivals, Nokia, Samsung and Apple, still sell around twice as many smartphones. But its rapid growth, especially on Apple’s American home turf, has made it a competitor to reckon with.
One reason for HTC’s surging sales is the relentless pace of its innovation: in the past quarter, in which Apple had no new iPhone to launch, HTC introduced ten new models. Another is Google’s Android operating system, on which most of HTC’s smartphones are now based, which has proved a hit among consumers.