The HTC One has been delayed – again – due to the company’s ongoing supply shortages.
The flagship smartphone was launched on February 19, with a 14 March release date (unwise, as that was the day the Samsung Galaxy S4 was announced). It has since been pushed back further, with the Wall Street Journal now reporting that it will be delayed to late March, and early April for some territories – again, running toward trouble via the Samsung Galaxy S4’s launch on April 26.
HTC supplied What Mobile with its official statement – which seems flawed at best, given ‘mid-march’ has already passed.
“We are thrilled with the positive response to the new HTC One and are working tirelessly with all of our channel partners to ensure that we can fulfil as many orders as possible. The HTC One will start rolling out to customers from mid-March 2013 with our biggest priority being to get the device to people both quickly and efficiently. Thank you for your patience.”
What Mobile now understands that there is now no confirmed release date, which is a pity, because we gave the HTC One is a very impressive smartphone (see What Mobile’s review here)
During my time at Mobile World Congress, several industry figures (and rivals) confirmed that the company had been having supply issues, which matches the claims in the Wall Street Journal piece. Namely, that the unibody case and camera hardware were proving difficult to source, since HTC has fallen out of the ‘top tier’ of mobile phone manufacturers.
According to IDC, the company has been surpassed by ZTE and Huawei (who now sit at fourth and fifth position), who in turn sit below the heavyweights, Sony, Samsung and Apple – who, being top tier customers, get preferential supply arrangements from manufacturers.
HTC’s fall has been swift. In 2010, HTC was the largest Android smartphone maker on the market, but 2012 saw the company’s HTC One X range fail to capture the imagination of users, who were moving to Samsung in droves. This again puts pressure on CEO Peter Chou, who blamed the last year’s failings on marketing. He has thrown most of the company’s resources behind the HTC One, even going so far as to sponsor the UEFA Champions League.