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Somewhere Samsung is celebrating

Phone carriers worldwide are passing along some bad news to their customers and the media -- HTC Corp.'s (TPE:2498) eagerly awaited flagship smartphone, the HTC One, has been delayed.  Retailers -- including Best Buy, Inc. (BBY) -- were planning to launch the 1080p Android smartphone in the third week of March, but that launch date has now been pushed back indefinitely due to a shortage in camera parts.

I. Hopes to Get a Head Start on

HTC promised its metal-body superphone would be available in 80 countries and 185 carriers before the end of March.  Now it's unclear which -- if any -- of the carriers will be able to launch in that window.

The delay could not have come at a worse time for HTC, who has struggled to compete with Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd (KSC:005930) and Apple, Inc. (AAPL).  HTC had planned the HTC One launch to be its ticket back into the spotlight.  The smartphone would get a critical sales jump on Samsung's Galaxy S IV by a couple weeks.  An emboldened HTC even was observed talking some smack to Samsung, attacking its choice in body design for the GSIV.

Now HTC is eating a slice of humble pie.

According to an unnamed HTC executive quoted by Fox News, the shortage is due to HTC losing its preferred component buyer status amid disappointing shipments.  Wary suppliers have now limited the amount of stock they're setting aside for the struggling phonemaker.

HTC One 360 view
The HTC One

Comments the unnamed HTC executive, "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."

II. CEO Peter Chou May Resign Out of Shame For Poor Showing

HTC Chief Marketing Officer Benjamin Ho refused to offer details on the supplier snub or provide a firm timeline for the HTC One's release.  He comments, "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."

But an April launch is the last thing HTC wanted.  Samsung is also launching the GSIV in early April and HTC's marketing machine pales in comparison to tis rivals.

What's more Fox News reports that HTC is suffering a multitude of personnel woes.  One unnamed engineer comments,  "This was the first time that HTC didn't give out a year-end probably wants to reserve the money to boost marketing this year."

Reportedly many of HTC's top engineers are jumping ship to rival gadgetmakers with better pay like Acer Inc. (TPE:2353), Huawei Technologies, and ASUSTek Computer Inc. (TPE:2357).

And HTC could soon be without a chief executive.  If the delay causes HTC One sales to fall short, HTC CEO Peter Chou is expected to resign, according to Fox News.  Mr. Chou reportedly told the company's top executives at a late 2012 meeting that if the flagship HTC One was not a success, he would step down.

Peter Chou
Fox News quotes an unnamed HTC executive as saying his CEO announced he may soon resign out of shame for the company's failures. [Image Source: Android and Me]

Comments an unnamed executive, "He (Peter Chou) is a proud person. It seems that he wants to hold himself accountable for HTC's decline in the last two years."

It looks what started as a trickle down the mountain could soon become an avalanche of issues for Taiwan's top smartphone OEM.

Source: Fox News

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RE: This is stupid.
By quiksilvr on 3/19/2013 4:54:04 PM , Rating: 3
This isn't really directed at anyone, but I'm curious as to what people were expecting from the Galaxy S4. Its more of a jump from S3 -> S4 than S2 -> S3 was.

At least here in the states, from S2 -> S3:
1. The screen was 0.3" bigger and 720p instead of 480p, but the quality decreased due to PenTile.
2. RAM was doubled but not everywhere.
3. Dual core chip was slightly faster.

Sure the cameras were slightly improved but other than that it was a very incremental step. All that really changed was how it looked and more widespread LTE (the S2 has LTE in some markets).

From the S3 -> S4
1. Resolution doubled
2. Quad core for everyone.
3. 13MP camera.
4. 1080p recording in the front facing.
4. 802.11 ac.

And that is just purely hardware. Now with no touch controls (something very useful when your hands are dirty be it working at a mechanics shop or cooking) and smart scrolling/pausing, etc, it actually added something to the table besides "we have the next Android OS".

Sure some of it may be gimmicky but the only reason people are calling it "incremental" is because it looks the same, not because the changes were minor when in fact going from S2 -> S3 was even less of a change.

RE: This is stupid.
By Reclaimer77 on 3/19/2013 4:57:43 PM , Rating: 2
It's just ignorance spurning this Galaxy S4 hate. I'm not sure what more one could ask for in a phone. It has everything and then some.

RE: This is stupid.
By UpSpin on 3/19/2013 5:15:18 PM , Rating: 4
People call it incremental because the changes were expected. The changes were predefined by simple progress of technology. Every company will make the identical changes (resolution increase, A15 SoC, more MP cameras)
They haven't added anything special. Nothing groundbreaking.

Nokia and now HTC drastically changed the camera with using an OIS and HTC using a non-common sensor.
HTC completely redesigned their smartphone and tried something new, the same with Sony. The Galaxy S4 looks cheap in comparison because of its highly glossy finish.
Samsung risked a lot with the S-Pen in the Note, something totally new, something special, but they haven't added anything special to the S4.
Apple always tried to add that special part to their new devices. Sadly they also partly failed with the latest additions (like Siri or Maps, which offered something special but it just wasn't ready or not really usable yet)

Hardware wise the S4 offers the latest tech, but not more than everyone expected. Software related most of these additions are just gimmicks which became possible with the higher resolution camera. Nothing people will use intensively.

RE: This is stupid.
By Spuke on 3/19/2013 5:29:00 PM , Rating: 2
It's just insane. Why doesn't this drive more people nuts?
Eye scroll and air touch isn't groundbreaking? Who else is going to have those? Sheesh I'd hate to be in your household.

RE: This is stupid.
By UpSpin on 3/19/2013 5:47:10 PM , Rating: 2
Eye scroll and air touch isn't groundbreaking? Who else is going to have those? Sheesh I'd hate to be in your household.

Eye Tracking: Like LG or any PC with a webcam and the appropriate software.
Air touch: Air swipe got demonstrated by Qualcomm several years ago, air touch is a available on several other smartphones, like from Sony.

RE: This is stupid.
By Matt.Dayee on 3/19/2013 10:11:34 PM , Rating: 2
and yet, you're saying that Apple's Siri and Maps are special?

RE: This is stupid.
By robinthakur on 3/20/2013 6:18:30 AM , Rating: 3
1. No it isn't really groundbreaking, it's an obvious evolution of the motion control idea as seen on the Wii, Kinect and Samsung's TV's for at least a year.

2.The fact that it probably won't work reliably enough for regular usage in its first iteration is more important and I would thoroughly try this out if it is actually a key reason for your purchase. Various other Samsung 'innovations' like Smart Stay, Tap to top and S-Assist on the 3 can hardly be said to work properly. Most people I know just turn them off and try and make the phone more Android like.

3.Perhaps Samsung should create their own OS or fork Android if they want to add so many non standard features to a phone. It will be interesting to see how long one has to wait for each OS upgrade now!

RE: This is stupid.
By Reclaimer77 on 3/19/2013 5:55:38 PM , Rating: 1
They haven't added anything special. Nothing groundbreaking.

Everyone says this, but I notice they don't actually list what features they feel would be groundbreaking or what they phone should have instead.

Probably because they can't come up with one.

HTC completely redesigned their smartphone and tried something new

They took the same "natural progression" of smartphone components and wrapped it in aluminum. Hardly "groundbreaking". And they apparently mishandled the project so poorly, we have no idea when it will even be released.

Apple always tried to add that special part to their new devices

Like what????

RE: This is stupid.
By UpSpin on 3/19/2013 6:06:33 PM , Rating: 1
either you're blind or whatever.

I explicitely wrote that one of the main special parts of the HTC One are the OIS, 4 MP cam and complete redesign.

I explicitely wrote that the latest special parts of the iPhone were Siri and Maps, and I also added that those things weren't perfect, Apple did a better job in the past, like Retina Display (high resolution, high color accuracy) in the iPhone 4 and especially in the iPad 3.

Everyone says this, but I notice they don't actually list what features they feel would be groundbreaking or what they phone should have instead. Probably because they can't come up with one.

Well, that's the thing. This makes those changes special. They weren't expected, they are a unique selling point. No one expected that the HTC One design and the fact that they switched to 4MP, implemented an OIS.
But everyone expected the S4 design, SoC and Display.

RE: This is stupid.
By Reclaimer77 on 3/19/2013 6:41:33 PM , Rating: 2
So voice commands, which Android had since like day one, and horribly broken maps. Those are "special" things that Apple did, which Samsung didn't?

But everyone expected the S4 design, SoC and Display.

So Samsung should have just done anything to surprise people, even if it didn't result in a better product?

You're just being silly. If you don't like Samsung, just come out and say it. You're grasping at straws to find flaws with the Galaxy 4, it's hilarious.

RE: This is stupid.
By UpSpin on 3/19/2013 7:07:27 PM , Rating: 2
Sorry, but you lack reading comprehension.
I explicitly added, that Siri and Maps wasn't great. Yet, you take those two items, and only those, for your further argumentation. That's silly, that's idiotic.

Then you start to invent statements I never ever wrote. I just stated that everyone expected what Samsung did with the Galaxy SIV, it was nothing really 'new'. Every company out there is capable and will do exactly the same. Huawei, HTC, Sony, ... all of them. I never said that Samsung should add something which doesn't result in a better product, like eye tracking, just to have something 'new' which, in the end, is nothing useful/special at all.

And finally you try to judge me based on your misunderstandings. I never said that the SIV is a bad product, quite contrary, I explitily mentioned that it features the latest technology imaginable.

I just replied to quiksilvr and tried to answer his question what people were expecting from the SIV. They expected something Nokia did with the Pureview and the Lumia line, HTC with Ultrapixels and the design and Apple with the retina stuff or even Siri (btw: comparing Siri with the first Android voice input is like comparing capacitive (Siri) touch with resistive (Android before Google Now) and don't tell me I'm an Apple lover - I own exactly zero Apple devices; but that's a different discussion)

RE: This is stupid.
By feelsgoodbaby on 3/22/2013 5:41:52 AM , Rating: 2
Looks like you are the one with the reading comprehension fail. siri and apple maps as opined earlier by others are nothing 'special'.

RE: This is stupid.
By insurgent on 3/19/2013 9:03:05 PM , Rating: 2

HTC has done one thing, just one thing on hardware, and you will claim they're innovative. Samsung has done a lot more with software, which is now their focus, and you call it incremental and probably gimmicky (as if all aluminum isn't a gimmick). Just goes to show why Samsung is selling so much. It's because HTC, and people like you, have a really big disconnect with the rest of the market on what is important to the consumers.

HTC, good luck filling those orders while waiting for parts suppliers and spending 200 minutes on each phone body, as if you've got too much time on your hands. You spend too much time and effort on details only the geeks appreciate, but their reality distortion field is not enough to carry you over like Steve Jobs has been doing for Apple.

RE: This is stupid.
By robinthakur on 3/20/2013 6:08:40 AM , Rating: 2
Hopefully they fix the screen in the 4 so blues and greens aren't weirdly tinted like on the 3 and the screen won't be pentile fuzzy. In this day and age to not have a decent retina screen on a flagship device is shameful, Samsung, considering make the screens yourself!

There's not really much point having a poor quality yet big screen, it smacks of cost cutting. The 3 was a goo example of a resolution on paper (720p) which meant absolutely nothing in the real world.

RE: This is stupid.
By piroroadkill on 3/20/2013 6:08:44 AM , Rating: 2
1. Who cares about 1080p? Nobody with eyes.
2. Who cares about quad core? NVIDIA, I guess, for marketing.
3. Who cares? packing more, less sensitive pixels in the same area?
4. Who cares, who has the bandwidth to stream 1080p video on your uplink? Even if you did, it would be heavily compressed, thus pointless.
6. Oh yeah! For all those high bandwidth use cases on your.. phone.

Give me a longer battery life and a premium build any time (not that I pick HTC One, it has silly specs too, not a big enough battery and no microSD.. but it has premium build)

RE: This is stupid.
By cyberguyz on 3/20/2013 8:22:22 AM , Rating: 2
I'm not all that keen on adding to the derailing of this HTC post thread, but... if anyone was expecting revolutionary changes in the Sammy GS4, here is dunk into the cold water of reality.

The Sammy GS3 is without a doubt one of the most popular and highest selling smartphones in the world. Samsung is not about to jeopardize that popularity by introducing a bunch of radical changes to one of their most successful products ever produced. That would be incredibly stupid and Samsung does not strike me as stupid.

The evolutionary nature of the SGS4 is exactly what I expected in this phone. No More, no less. It gets a hardware bump, maintains it's in-pocket size which seems to be tolerable for most people, and it updates its software to include some of the more 'gee whiz' features demonstrated by its competitors. it is not a whole new model. It is a version bump of an existing model.

Fro those that already have an SGS3 (or like in my case more than one), there probably won't be an overwhelming desire to dish out another 600-700$ to buy an SGS4. If however you are looking for a new phone, there are very few phones out there, including the HTC One, that can beat it feature for feature. The SGS4, once it becomes available is poised to make Samsung an insane amount of money. it will be very popular much to the chagrin of all the naysayers.

"The Space Elevator will be built about 50 years after everyone stops laughing" -- Sir Arthur C. Clarke

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