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HTC buys handheld customer

More than half of Dopod acquired

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HTC is to take a majority stake in Chinese handset vendor Dopod, the phone manufacturer announced today. Dopod will become a subsidiary company, HTC said, describing a move that will bring the maker a step closer to offering handsets under its own name.

To date, HTC has designed and manufactured Windows Mobile-based devices that have been subsequently branded and sold by providers and network operators, including QTek, i-mate, Orange, O2, Vodafone and T-Mobile, in addition to Dopod.

Even so, HTC has become well known among handheld device buffs as the developer of the products, so it's perhaps no surprise that the company might now be wondering whether it should be making more of its own brand.

The deal with Dopod allows HTC to get a better handle on how that side of the business works. It's also a cash generator: Dopod's total revenues for FY2005 reached $130m. Net income after tax was $8m. ®

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