December 21, 2010 | by Andrew Kameka
CEO and COO, HTC
Nominated because: He leads an Android pioneer and user favorite
HTC lays claim to many firsts in Android, including supplying the first phone (G1), first device built for Google (Nexus One), and first to sell a phone good enough to make me return to a carrier I swore I’d never give my money again (EVO 4G). Throughout all of those firsts, Peter Chou has led the way for a premiere phone maker.
Chou, the long-time CEO of HTC, has overseen HTC’s benchmark-making foray into the “superphone” era in 2010. HTC partnered with Google to build the Nexus One and then introduced its own series of lust-inducing devices like the Desire HD, Droid Incredible, EVO 4G, and myTouch 4G. The hardware upgrades for processors, screens, and even kickstands further solidified HTC’s place as an elite smartphone maker. HTC has a superphone on almost every major carrier and shipped 20 million phones in 2010, a number that is rumored to triple in 2011.
HTC beefed-up its hardware this year, and now we have to wonder how strong that hardware will be in 2011. Chou recognizes that something must be done to improve battery life on phones, new 4G/LTE models are on the way, and there’s always a rumor floating that HTC is developing a tablet. He has guided HTC from a relatively small designer for carrier-branded phones to a manufacturer that has become one of the most sought-after smartphone makers.
In 2011, Chou will continue to push the envelope at HTC. Statistical trends signal that the number of smartphone buyers will increase next year, and the strategy that Chou helps develop will determine what happens with the company’s balancing act between Android and Windows Phone 7. It could also increase the likelihood that the next phone You purchase has an HTC logo stamped on the back.
This article is part of a series of profiles on the people who most-impacted Android in 2010. Read more about the Android Person of the Year series here.