UPDATE 1-Taiwan's HTC has sold 800,000 Touch phones

Mon Oct 1, 2007 8:32am EDT

(Adds Microsoft comment, detail)

By John Bowker

LONDON Oct 1 (Reuters) - Taiwan smartphone maker High Tech Computer Corp (HTC) (2498.TW) said on Monday it had sold 800,000 units of its own branded HTC Touch phone, launched in Europe and Asia in June.

"This is better than I expected ... We feel very good about our success," Chief Executive Peter Chou told Reuters in an interview, adding that the smartphone's popularity was close to that enjoyed by Apple Inc's (AAPL.O) competing iPhone.

The iPhone sold 1 million phones in the three months after its launch in the United States, also in June, and Apple is set to begin selling the product in Europe in November.

Chou was speaking as HTC launched a second "touch" device, the Touch Dual, which has a keyboard function as well as the touch screen system used in the first phone.

He would not provide forecasts for the Touch Dual, which has signed Orange FTE.PA as its pan-European partner but can be used by different operators in individual markets.

Both the HTC Touch and the Touch Dual use Microsoft's Windows Mobile system -- the version of the U.S. giant's famous software that works on mobile phones.

"At the moment, the HTC Touch is one of the most successful to use the Windows Mobile. It's very very popular," said Vassili le Moigne, business manager for Windows Mobile in Central and Eastern Europe, in a separate interview.

HTC said in July it expected third-quarter sales to grow by a high single digit percentage rate from T$26.36 billion ($807 million) last year as its own-branded business gains momentum.

Historically, the firm has made handsets for other companies.