HTC Riding High on Android Smartphone Wave - Triples Profits

Taiwanese smartphone specialist HTC has tripled its year-on-year profits thanks to a massive rise in the sale of Android handsets.

The company earned $14.8 billion Taiwan dollars (£311 million) in the quarter ending March 31st - nearly three times as much as it made in the first quarter of 2010.

HTC remained tight lipped about how many handsets it had shipped, let alone how many had actually been sold at retail, but the company looks to be well on track ship the 8.5 million units it predicted it would shift during 2011 at the beginning of the year, a hefty 152 per cent up on last year's numbers.

The company's latest Thunderbolt handset, which because of its 4G pedigree is proving very popular in the USA as the country rolls out its next-generation cellular network, is reported to have matched or bettered sales of the iPhone in the ca=vast majority of retail outlets, according to thinq_.

HTC is also hoping to steal some of Apple's iPad thunder when it launches the Android-powered Flyer tablet into a soon-to-be-crowded market later this year.