Forecasts for sales of the first Android phone from HTC have been all over the map. HTC now says demand is so strong that it is doubling the number it originally projected to sell.Before the G1 went on sale in October, HTC predicted that it would sell about 500,000 of the new Android-powered smartphones by the end of 2008. Interest in the device continues to be high. So high, in fact, that HTC has revised its projections upward to 1 million. That figure includes sales both in the United States and in Europe. Furthermore, HTC says it will sell between 1.5 and 2 million of the G1's by the end of 2009.
For HTC to sell 1 million G1's in a period lasting just over two months is impressive. Remember, it took the original iPhone about the same amount of time to hit the 1 million mark. HTC and partners Google and T-Mobile have not sunk nearly as much money into marketing the G1 as Apple did for the iPhone, but the word is getting out there.
In fact, just this weekend I was visiting with friends who I'd not call "on-the-cutting-edge" when it comes to technology. Even so, they were interested in jumping from AT&T to T-Mobile because they find the G1 (and T-Mobile's voice plans) favorable for them.
Now, here's the real head-scratcher. HTC believes it will sell 1 million G1's by Dec. 31, 2008. Why, then, does it think it will only sell another 500,000 to 1 million G1's during the entire 2009 calendar year?
Right now HTC has the entire market for Android phones all to itself. It will have a four or five month lead on all the competition, as no other device maker has announced an actual Android-powered handset and given it a release date. The G1 is by no means perfect, but competitors are likely to hit the scene sooner or later.
I have to wonder if HTC sees the drop-off in demand because it knows what its second-generation Android phone will be...