HTC plans tablet, expects strong Q1 sales

HTC confirmed it will release a tablet to challenge Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPad, though the company did not provide details about when it will release the gadget or what kind of product it will be. 

"It's a new market with many competitors, and we don't want to rush into it," HTC CEO Peter Chou told investors on a conference call. "We hope the product we eventually unveil will be one that meets consumers' needs."

A Digitimes report, citing unnamed sources, said that the Taiwanese smartphone maker will start shipping a tablet in the U.S. market in March called "the Flyer" running version 2.3 of Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android platform. Users will be able to upgrade the device to Android version 3.0, or Honeycomb, which is optimized for tablets, the report said, adding that HTC plans to release more Honeycomb tablets in June.

HTC, the world's 10th largest branded handset maker in the third quarter, according to ABI Research, forecasted strong revenue and sales numbers for the first quarter. The company said it expects revenue in the quarter to more than double to $3.2 billion, up from $1.3 billion in the year-ago period, with shipments rising to 8.5 million units from 3.3 million units.

HTC said its fourth-quarter net income rose to $500 million, up 160 percent from the year-ago period, and that it shipped 9.1 million units in the quarter. HTC's average selling price rose to $364 in the fourth quarter, up from $342 in the year-ago period.

For more:
- see this BBC article
- see this Dow Jones Newswires article (sub. req.)
- see this Bloomberg article
- see this Reuters article
- see this Digitimes article

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