For investors who want to benefit from the surge of smartphones globally, apart from Apple, maybe they can also consider Taiwanese phone maker HTC.

The company had a good year in 2010.  Its bet on Android has paid off handsomely.  Year-over-year, its smartphone sales jumped 111% from 11.7 million to 24.6 million devices. In the fourth quarter of 2010, the holiday shopping season alone accounted for 9.1 million of HTC’s yearly sales. Higher sales translated to higher revenue and profits for the company, which jumped 93% and 75%, respectively, when compared to 2009.  And it is very likely its momentum can maintain this year.

JP Morgan analyst, Laura Chen, pointed out, the company’s 4G products is going to drive its sales. HTC debuted two 4G WiMax devices with Sprint in 2010. “Thanks to Verizon, AT&T and Sprint’s push on 4G service, we expect 4G product (including LTE, Wimax and HSPA+) to contribute 15-20% of HTC’s 2011 sales,” she wrote in a note. The company is also working on its first dual core product called “Pyramid”, which will be introduced to the market in early second quarter.  Laura expected HTC’s “ASP to trend up with stable margin outlook”.

HTC predicts it will ship about 8.5 million devices during the first quarter of the year. That would represent a slight dip compared to the holiday quarter, but an improvement of 157% compared to the year-ago quarter.  Fully 50.6% of HTC’s global sales in 2010 came from North America, with Europe contributing 32.2% of sales and Asia and other regions responsible for 17.1% of HTC’s yearly sales.

Author of Red Wired: China's Internet Revolution, the first book to completely survey the nature of China's internet. ( She previously was the lead China technology reporter...

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