At a time where HTC needs a smartphone sales hit, the company is facing a new challenge. Its new flagship phone, the HTC One, may be delayed in some markets, mainly because HTC can’t get all the components it needs for the new smartphone. According to a Wall Street Journal report on Tuesday, the issue isn’t because the parts aren’t necessarily available; the problem is that HTC is no longer considered a top-tier hardware customer.
HTC specifically stated to the WSJ that the camera parts and metal frames are hard to come by. And to an extent, these parts are relatively unique. The HTC One touts “ultrapixels” in the camera, which use sensors with larger pixels for better clarity and low-light performance. And the phone’s metal frame is all new.
It appears, however, that if hardware component makers had more confidence in HTC’s ability to sell smartphones — and thus increase component orders — HTC would have the parts it needs. Instead, component makers may be focusing production line efforts on partners such as Apple and Samsung, which continue to outsell all others in the smartphone market.
Indeed, HTC’s sales woes have been a sore spot; it recently has had a string of months with decreased sales growth and reduced future expectation. In turn, this hurts the company’s component demand forecasts, which can’t make hardware partners happy.
Per an HTC executive speaking to the WSJ: “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.”
By repeatedly reducing component orders, it’s simply a safer bet for companies that make smartphone parts to focus their production lines on companies that are selling more smartphones than before in a consistent manner. It’s all well and good to create an innovative new smartphone; my limited hands on time with the HTC One suggests it’s a solid step forward for HTC. But if markets have little confidence in the company behind the product, making a sales comeback becomes a much tougher road to tread.