Troubled smartphone maker HTC is reportedly suffering from supply problems with its recently-launched One mini smartphone, due to “a casing shortage arising from design difficulties”, Reuters reported.
Apparently, this means that the company has been unable to meet operator and consumer demand, despite analysts expecting shipments to only be at around the 200,000 unit per month mark.
If correct, the news is another blow to HTC, which is set to report a loss-making quarter as it reinvigorates its mid-tier device portfolio.
There appears to be something of a trend emerging with regard to the vendor and supply chain problems.
According to reports earlier this month, the company is set to use an older processor for its so far unannounced One Max phablet, with some sources suggesting that it is unable to secure sufficient supplies of the latest processors.
And the flagship One device, unveiled earlier this year, also had a troubled path to market. Delays in delivery meant that it lost some of the head-start it could have gained over Samsung’s Galaxy S4, which ended up reaching the market not long afterward.
A Wall Street Journal report at the time suggested that this was related to issues relating to camera parts and – similarly to the current One mini issues – its metal casing.
It was noted that with HTC’s shipment volumes tumbling, the company has struggled to maintain its status as a top-tier customer for its suppliers.
Nokia patent spat
Separately, it was reported that the US International Trade Commission had ruled that HTC infringed two patents owned by Nokia, although the complaint does appear to centre on older devices made by the Taiwanese vendor.
According to Reuters, the decision was preliminary, with a final decision due early next year. It could lead to a ban on the import of infringing devices, or alternatively HTC could negotiate a settlement with Nokia which involves licensing the patents.
Website FOSS Patents said that both parties can now petition the ITC for a review.