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HTC expects smartphone shipment increase on back of Android

The increasing popularity of the Android platform is expected to spur the sales of HTC phones this summer.

HTC’s shipments are expected to increase by 50% over the next three months, from 3.3m handsets in the first quarter to 4.5m in the second quarter.

According to HTC’s CFO, Cheng Hui-ming,  these numbers “indicate the growing popularity of the Android platform in Europe and the US”.   HTC just launched the Google Nexus One in the UK and Droid Incredible on Verizon.  One of the most anticipated phones this summer is the 4G Sprint (S) Evo, also from HTC.

HTC’s performance outshines that of recently sold Palm (HP) and Nokia (NOK), who have struggled to gain traction in the Smartphone market.  One of the reasons for Android’s success is that Google has put together a respectable collection of Apps, recently passing 50,000.

The numbers also bode well for Motorola (MOT), the leading Android phone maker, according to Admob.

HTC recently announced that it had entered into a patent sharing deal with Microsoft (MSFT) that would also cover its Android phones in its patent fight with Apple.  HTC should see an additional boost when partner Microsoft  releases Windows Mobile 7 later this year.