One of the great misfortunes of the gadget world is that, all too often, the best devices don’t end up being the best-sellers.

HTC knows this reality well. Like fellow smartphone laggard Nokia, the company is really good at making nice phones that not too many people are interested in buying. This is especially true for the HTC One, a device that, despite being quite, nice, is also probably doomed to languish in obscurity.

Or is it? According to an HTC executive, the company has sold five million of its latest device since its launch in March. “Orders are pretty good so far and are still more than what we can supply,” the unnamed exec told The Wall Street Journal.

While five million in sales sounds promising, there are a few things to keep in mind here. One, “sales” probably refers to the number of devices sold to retailers, not customers. Two, while the One seems to be selling well, it can’t touch Samsung’s Galaxy S IV, which has already passed 10 million in sales.

Another ongoing, more pressing issue relates to the One’s parts. Production of the device has been severely hindered by HTC’s inability to get its hands on enough components from suppliers, who don’t consider HTC a “tier-one” customer. These issues, the exec says, should be worked in the next few months, which should make it easier to fulfill demand, and, potentially, save HTC’s skin.

Photo: Devindra Hardawar/VentureBeat