Ina Fried

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HTC Shipped 9 Million Smartphones Last Quarter, but Forecast May Not Fully Satisfy the Most Bullish Analysts

Phone maker HTC said on Friday that it expects its revenue and phone shipments to more than double this quarter amid the rapidly growing demand for smartphones.

“We continue to see strong demand from existing products and expect recently launched 4G products to help drive shipment growth in 2011,” HTC said in slides that accompanied its fourth-quarter earnings report.

However, its forecast that it will sell 8.5 million smartphones this quarter may not be enough to satisfy some analysts. According to Reuters, some firms had recently hiked expectations for HTC, predicting the company would sell 9 million smartphones or more. The company sold 9.1 million phones in the December quarter, though of course that includes the seasonally strong holiday period. HTC noted that any drop in the first quarter will be less than typical.

“Demand remains visible and solid,” the company said. “Management expects a relatively muted seasonal slowdown than previous years.”

For the fourth quarter, HTC reported that sales rose to $3.58 billion (104 billion Taiwanese dollars), up from $1.4 billion (41 billion Taiwanese dollars) a year ago, with per-share earnings growing to nearly 63 U.S. cents a share, up from just over 24 cents in the year-ago quarter.

HTC announced a number of new Android devices earlier this month, including the HTC Evo Shift (a lower-priced 4G phone for Sprint), the HTC Thunderbolt for Verizon and a new phone for AT&T that packs more Web-based services direct from HTC.

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work