updated 02:10 pm EST, Fri January 18, 2008
HTC Taking Palm Production
Increasingly larger cellphone producer HTC is taking control of making smartphones for a few of its larger challengers, a report in Taiwan's Commercial Times says. Without naming specific models, the trade paper says that Palm, MWG, and Dubai-based i-mate are all pushing their assembly orders back to HTC after previously turning to other contractors or their own factories. The reversal is not explained but should help HTC's manufacturing for others account for over 10 percent of the firm's bottom line, representing a significant boost for a company increasingly known for its own devices.
The shift may prove especially relevant to Palm, which has repeatedly struggled to turn a profit and will use HTC's production for its newer phone designs, which include the Centro (pictured above) and the upcoming Treo 800 full-size smartphone. The motivations for i-mate and MWG are unclear, though the former was originally built around selling HTC-made devices in areas not covered by the European cell carrier O2.