Thu, May 15, 2008 - Page 12 News List

High Tech seeks to boost R&D spending

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High Tech Computer Corp (HTC, 宏達電), the world’s largest maker of mobile phones using Microsoft Corp’s Windows software, said it would boost research and development spending this year to speed up the introduction of new handsets.

The Taiwanese company expects R&D spending this year to increase between 10 percent and 20 percent from about US$100 million last year, chief executive officer Peter Chou (周永明) said in an interview in Hong Kong yesterday.

The phone maker aims to introduce about 20 new products this year, from about 15 last year, he said.

HTC, the best-performing stock in the MSCI Asia Pacific Information Technology Index this year, increased first-quarter sales 39 percent on higher demand for advanced phones that allow users to edit documents and send e-mails. Shipments of so-called smartphones jumped 53 percent to 118 million last year, said Canalys, a UK-based research company.

The Taoyuan-based mobile-phone maker will add between 300 and 500 engineers in its home market, the US and Europe by year’s end, Chou said.

HTC has about 2,000 engineers at present, he said.

This month the company introduced Diamond, a handset that allows faster Web browsing and satellite navigation. HTC expects shipments of Diamond will exceed 3 million, Chou said at a product launch in Taipei on Tuesday.

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