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HTC One reportedly sells 5 million, half as many as Galaxy S4

HTC has flogged a very healthy 5 million HTC Ones, according to an unnamed exec, which is pretty respectable compared to the S4.

HTC has flogged a very healthy 5 million HTC Ones, according to an unnamed exec quoted in the Wall Street Journal (paywall link) -- half as many as the Samsung Galaxy S4.

"Orders are pretty good so far and are still more than what we can supply," the nameless bigwig boasts. "This is partly due to the shortage of components. When the issue is resolved next month, we will have a better idea if it's doing really well or not."

That's a reference to the One's repeated manufacturing problems, which have led to stock shortages around the world. Production of the phone is due to double next month after its unusual 'Ultrapixel' camera proved difficult to source.

Coming just a day after it was reported that high-level execs are fleeing the Taiwanese company in droves, it's probably sensible to treat anonymous good news with some scepticism. It's not an official announcement to the stock exchange, for example, which requires total transparency.

If it is an accurate figure, however, it compares pretty favourably to the Galaxy S4, which Samsung today announced has sold 10 million. Bear in mind Samsung's unprecedented ad budget -- which it can fritter on completely bizarre things like this -- and HTC's meagre resources.

In the US last year, for example, Samsung spent $400m on marketing, compared to HTC's $46m, which shrank by nearly two thirds from the year before, according to analysts Kantar. That's not just ads and PR either, it includes commission for salesmen in phone shops, to incentivise them to recommend Samsung phones over other brands.

The HTC One's relative success, then, is probably down to word of mouth and generally great reviews. The HTC One is the closest to an iPhone you can get in terms of classy metal design and still be on Android. It's a much sharper-looking device than the plastic Galaxy S4, for sure, although there are compromises -- like the iPhone, having it carved from one piece of aluminium means you can't replace the battery.

You can't expand the memory either, although the version sold in China and Japan does have this crucial feature. HTC yesterday revealed that this is because the radio antenna you need in China is much smaller than the complicated apparatus required elsewhere in the world, freeing up space for a microSD slot.

Is the One the one for you? Or are you all for the S4? Would you get the One if it had expandable memory? Leave a comment below, or over on our expansive Facebook page.

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