HTC expects to sell 600,000 Android phones this year

HTC expects to shift 600,000 of its Android-based G1 handsets this year.

Speaking to the MercuryNews website, Peter Chou, chief executive of HTC, admitted sales of the smartphones were outstripping early estimates. "We should be doing good numbers, but I can't disclose the details. It will be more than what we originally planned. I'm saying we will ship more than 600,000."

Chou was cagey on figures for 2009, but "in general, we think we can do more next year. We are confident about our competitiveness next year."

Asked how he felt about trading punches with Apple in the smartphone market, Chou echoed Nokia's recent praise of the company for helping to popularise the mobile internet: "It [the G1] may not be as sexy as others. But it's very nice, very mature and a very good experience. It has a very good quality keyboard, which makes it thicker... It's very good for text messaging or e-mail."

The G1 will launch in the UK at the end of the month.