British tech retailer Clove have broken news this morning that the much-anticipated HTC One, which had been due to go on sale March 15 (i.e. this Friday) will be delayed two weeks, and HTC is now expecting the One to go on sale from March 29. No reasons are quoted by Clove, but Android Police are predicting this could be due to supply issues, which seem to have dogged a number of mobile releases of late. (Nexus 4 anyone?)
Ausdroid has sought comment from HTC in Australia, and while we haven’t received any advice at the time of publishing, we will update this story with any further information we receive.
Android Authority reported last week, via Taiwanese news site FocusTaiwan, that HTC was facing issues in bringing the One to market, due to (apparently) major problems in the manufacturing process of components in the phone’s ‘Ultrapixel’ camera.
For those that like to admire the devil in the detail, here’s the lowdown:
An investment firm familiar with HTC’s supply line received information that the yield (usable portion of total manufactured parts) on two critical components in the Ultrapixel sensor was under 30%. While such a level might not be unheard of for a cutting-edge, just-announced microprocessor (it would still be pretty low), it’s apparently far lower than expected for this camera unit.
Based on these supply issues, this investment firm is claiming estimates for the delivery of the HTC One have been revised down significantly — perhaps by up to 80% — due to such poor manufacturing of the camera components.
Clove’s announcement of a delay of two weeks for stock availability fits well with this news — if HTC is having supply issues, it will take them longer to accumulate a enough stock for a worldwide launch without major shortages, which is something HTC would want to avoid.
We all know how woeful it is to announce a killer handset, and let its prosperity languish because there’s virtually no supply available, and no end to the drought in sight. The Nexus 4 would have been a stupendously popular handset had people actually been able to buy one back in November 2012 when it was closer to cutting edge, as opposed to February-March 2013 when it really isn’t anymore.
Will the delay matter to you? Will you wait out the two weeks if it eventuates?