HTC profits leaping and bounding up, Peter Chou promises tablet and production expansion

HTC's fourth quarter of 2010 has gone exactly the same way as the first three: the company reports a 160 percent rise in profits (to $500 million) year-on-year and a 31 percent increase relative to Q3 2010. Total revenue for the final three months of last year rounded the $3.5 billion mark, having been a trifling $1.4 billion the year before. Company CEO Peter Chou sees no end to this dramatic growth, forecasting it'll remain in double digits through 2011, and he plans to match up to it by doubling monthly production capacity at HTC's Shanghai plant to two million handsets. If necessary, he says he'll even outsource manufacturing. Even more intriguing, however, is Chou's admission that HTC is strategizing an entry into the tablet realm: "It's a new market with many competitors, and we don't want to rush into it." Hardly a surprise, but good to have it from the horse's mouth.