HTC’s One Delayed As Suppliers No Longer Consider It A ‘Tier-One’ Customer


HTC has been forced to delay the rollout of its promising new HTC One. An executive for the company has confirmed that it now has difficulty securing certain components from its suppliers as it is no longer considered a “tier-one” customer.

Although the Taiwanese company has rolled out a number of excellent smartphones in recent years, it has had a hard time selling them. The company has struggled to compete with devices from the likes of Apple and Samsung, and so its market share has taken a big hit.

According to research firm IDC, HTC’s share of the global smartphone market for 2012 was just 4.6% — that’s just over half of the 8.8% share it held in 2011. In comparison, Samsung — which shipped 215.8 million smartphones — held a 30% market share, and Apple held 19%.

As a result of this, component suppliers no longer view HTC as a “tier-one” customer. In plain English, that means HTC is no longer a priority, and other, more successful companies will receive their supplies first. This has meant that HTC has had to delay the much-anticipated One, its flagship smartphone for 2013.

“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,” an HTC executive told The Wall Street Journal. “HTC has had difficulty in securing adequate camera components as it is no longer a tier-one customer.”

Retailers and carriers, including Best Buy and Vodafone, have confirmed that their shipments of the HTC One have been delayed. The device was originally set to make its debut in the third week of March, but that has now been pushed back. HTC is still hoping to fulfill pre-orders in certain markets by the end of March, however.

“We… are working tirelessly with all of our channel partners to ensure that we can fulfill as many orders as possible. We will start fulfilling pre-orders by the end of March in certain markets and will roll out to more markets as we approach April,” HTC Chief Marketing Officer Benjamin Ho said in a statement.

These delays could prove costly to HTC, particularly with the Galaxy S4 launching next month. Samsung’s new device will be the One’s biggest competitor, and if HTC hasn’t addressed its supply issues by the time the Galaxy S4 launches, it could lose potential customers who aren’t willing to wait for their next smartphone.