June 20, 2009 / 4:56 AM / 9 years ago

World No. 4 smartphone maker sees shipments up 20 pct

TAIPEI, June 20 (Reuters) - HTC (2498.TW), the world’s fourth-largest smartphone brand, said on Saturday it had forecast a 20 percent increase in shipments worldwide this year due to intense market competition.

Taiwan-based HTC will raise its 2008 shipments from about 12 million units to more than 14 million, the company and local media said, citing statements by Chief Executive Officer Peter Chou at a shareholder conference.

“He didn’t give a reason and there’s no one single factor, but product competition is fairly significant,” a company publicist said on Saturday.

Smartphones were one of the few bright spots in the technology industry last year, growing by more than 22 percent worldwide, and in some regions, by more than 70 percent from the previous year, according to research firm IDC.

HTC had a market share of 4.5 percent of the total smartphone market in 2008, ranking behind rivals Nokia NOK1V.HE, Research in Motion RIM.TO and Apple (AAPL.O), the Gartner technology research company has said.

HTC shares closed 2.64 percent higher on Friday, outpacing the broad market .TWII, which was up 1.41 percent.

Reporting by Ralph Jennings

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