HTC revenue grows for the first time in three years

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It’s been a tough few years for HTC, the Taiwanese hardware maker that made many of the great early Android phones. But there’s light at the end of the tunnel: In the fourth quarter of 2014, HTC reported its first quarterly revenue growth in three years.

HTC posted fourth-quarter sales of $47.9 billion Taiwan New Dollars (USD$1.5 billion), a slight increase from the NT$42.9 billion posted in the fourth quarter last year. Net profit for the quarter works out to NT$0.47 billion, or about $14.7 million.

Bloomberg reported that the slight revenue increase is mostly due to “new mid-range handsets” that helped HTC fend off competition from the iPhone and other high-end models. The year-over-year revenue increase probably wasn’t because HTC’s flagship One M8 or its action cam Re had a big Christmas — it’s more likely tied to improving sales of value-based HTC’s Desire line, which is targeted at China and other Asian markets.

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The HTC-built Nexus 9 tablet, which came out during the quarter, probably didn’t really make a dent in the balance sheets. But it does signal an important closer relationship with [company]Google[/company]. Although HTC still makes a Windows Phone every now and then, the vast majority of its handsets are running Android with Google services.

HTC isn’t out of the woods yet — yearly revenue for 2014 was still down compared to 2013 (and 2012, and 2011.) But after a year in which the Taiwanese company had to cut costs to get profitable again, revenue growth is a sign that HTC isn’t going anywhere in 2015.

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