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HTC expected to overtake RIM in '12: MIC

Taiwan-based HTC is expected to become the fourth largest smart phone brand in the world next year, replacing RIM, owner of the BlackBerry brand, the Market Intelligence Center (MIC) under the Institute for the Information Industry predicted yesterday.

HTC's sales will be fueled by the popularity of the Android operating system (OS), which is found in a wide range of smart devices, said Chang Chi, deputy head of MIC.

This year, Android will have the biggest share in the smart phone OS market at 38 percent, followed by the 23 percent for Symbian and 18 percent for iOS, Apple's operating system, Chang said.

Next year, Android will have 40 percent of the market, followed by iOS's 19 percent and Windows Phone 7's 17 percent, he said.

According to Chang, Taiwan manufacturers' total smart phone shipments will grow in the second half, with the deployment of Apple's new iPhone model later on this year.

Overall, Taiwan's networking equipment production value will be US$339.6 billion this year, a growth of 13 percent from 2010, while communications device makers will likely post a production value of NT$1.7 trillion, he said.

Due to the popularity of the iPhone as well as various Android-based phones made by HTC, Taiwan manufacturers will ship about 440 million smart phones in the fourth quarter, and total smart phone shipments in 2011 are expected to grow 75 percent from 2010, he said.

However, shipments of feature phones may decline about 7.7 percent while production value may fall 20 percent this year, due to reduced orders from such brand names as Nokia and LG, Chang said.

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