Depite the evidence, HTC's CEO says Google NexusOne smartphone a "success"

Peter Chou on Nexus One, Android, and Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 OS

The Google Nexus One smartphone may have been plagued by customer service mishaps, delayed overseas launches, and dismal sales (one estimate: less than 150,000 units since going on sale in January). But it's still a success in the eyes of Peter Chou, CEO of HTC, which designed the phone.Chou spoke with Forbes' Elizabeth Woyke this week at the CTIA Wireless conference in Las Vegas. (Via PC World, you can sift through CTIA news in pictures.)Why is Nexus One a success? Because the innovative design will attract other design and manufacturing business for HTC even if consumers are not madly in love with the Nexus One. I confess that seems counter-intuitive to me, but perhaps the smartphone business is like the Hollywood business where movies like "The Hurt Locker" win awards and critical praise despite the fact that almost no one has seen them. Director Kathryn Bigelow is sure to get another job offer regardless.In the interview, Chou says HTC will leverage the innovation in Nexus One (such as Google Turn-by-turn directions) to establish HTC as the "top Android brand."For Chou, the Nexus One sales apparently are an achievement. "Considering Google didn't do [standard] retail or marketing for it, the Nexus One is doing pretty well," he tells Forbes. [UPDATE: Just found this report that Nexus One outsold iPhone in February.]Chou was at CTIA in part to introduce the company's newest phone, the EVO 4G, which includes a combination wireless chip that lets the phone run on Sprint's 3G network or its joint-effort 4G/WiMAX network with Clearwire. The phone has some impressive high-end features, including two cameras. It runs Android 2.1 operating system with HTC's Sense visual UI layered over it. Two other new HTC phones, also based on Android, will appear on AT&T's network in the next few months.But Chou likes lots of operating systems. The HTC HD2, based on Windows Mobile 6.5 went on sale this week through T-Mobile USA. Another HTC executive tells Forbes the company was pleased with sales on the first day.And Chou says he is "thrilled" with Microsoft radically redesigned Windows Phone 7. He repeated the company's announced plan to have a phone with the new OS before the end of 2010. Microsoft revealed much more of the new OS at last week's MIX10 developer conference and coders are weighing up its merits and demerits.

Chou seemed quite comfortable with the two incompatible Microsoft mobile platforms, saying that they will "co-exist" and that HTC will continue to support the older versions.

Apple has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against HTC. Chou didn't comment on the suit but the company has vowed to fight hard against the suit.

Join the Network World communities on Facebook and LinkedIn to comment on topics that are top of mind.

Copyright © 2010 IDG Communications, Inc.