HTC’s 2013 flagship phone was originally supposed to be available in mid-March. It was supposed to be available right now, actually. But then the phone was delayed to March 29th or early April, depending no the market. Now, thanks to a report from The Wall Street Journal, we’re finding out why that delay happened:
“The company has a problem managing its component suppliers as it has changed its order forecasts drastically and frequently following last year’s unexpected slump in shipments. HTC has had difficulty in securing adequate camera components as it is no longer a tier-one customer.”
Ouch. These are words coming from an unnamed executive and if they are indeed true, HTC might have more than just marketing as a problem. According to The Verge, HTC posted a very healthy $366 million in profit in late 2011. Fast forward one year later and that number has dropped significantly to $34.5 million in Q4 of 2012. If suppliers don’t appear to be fully supporting HTC due to their poor performance as of late, it’s going to be very tough for them to climb out of this.
HTC CEO Peter Chou’s job is also on the line, according to the report. The CEO pledged that he would resign from his position if the HTC One “fails to become a hit with consumers.” What exactly a hit means in this context is unclear but the company has yet again placed emphasis on just how much is riding on the success of their latest phone.
If HTC gets “out-marketed” by Samsung, which they most certainly will, and the HTC One fails to provide a steady supply of orders to keep the company’s supplier friends satisfied — then parts will be harder to acquire and their CEO will step down? Things are not looking good for HTC at the moment.
But all is not lost, because the HTC One has proven to be a very solid device. Hopefully for HTC, people will see that.