updated 10:20 am EDT, Wed October 21, 2009
HTC's main Android phone in tight supply
HTC's Android-based Hero is selling well enough that it's causing supply issues, the company's Asia Pacific VP Jack Tong revealed on Wednesday. Sales in the phone's initial Asia and European launch areas are described as "brisk" enough that demand has put a strain on HTC's production lines and won't see manufacturing catch up until November. The pace is expected to continue at least until early 2010.
American sales aren't mentioned but only just began earlier this month at Sprint and Cellular South.
No direct numbers or explanations have been given for the sales run, though the Hero is the first Android phone to have a customized interface that simplifies contacts, music, Twitter and other common tasks. Until recently, it was also one of the most feature-laden Android phones with a 5-megapixel camera, 3G, GPS and Wi-Fi.
The news is a milestone victory for Android, which has periodically had strong sales through phones like the T-Mobile G1 but has rarely encountered shortages. It also represents a rare win for device-independent mobile operating systems as neither Symbian nor Windows Mobile has enjoyed sustained strong sales of a single device.
Tong is cautious about HTC's prospects for succeeding among Android phone makers and doesn't expect to see whether it can lead the market until the second half of 2010. It already has to compete against Motorola and Samsung and will soon have to face competition from Acer, ASUS, Huawei and Sony Ericsson.