HTC is reportedly facing issues bringing its recently-announced flagship One smartphone to consumers, shrinking its window of opportunity before commercial availability of Samsung’s new Galaxy S4.
According to Engadget, except for certain operators in specific markets, availability of One has been “pushed back until an unspecified time in April”. Devices which have been pre-ordered are likely to reach customers later this month.
The key problem for HTC is that Samsung will this week announce its new flagship, Galaxy S4, which will be the natural rival to One. With momentum very much on Samsung’s side, HTC would have undoubtedly benefited from getting an early start into the market.
Perhaps the biggest challenge for the ailing Taiwanese device maker is the launch marketing campaign likely to support the Galaxy S4, which will overshadow the campaign supporting One.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Samsung spent $401 million marketing its handsets in the US market alone during 2012, way ahead of HTC’s $46 million – which was down on the amount HTC spent in 2011.
Of course, Samsung will also face the challenges of bringing a new device to market, but with the company’s larger scale, and having been hit by delays at the launch of the Galaxy S III, it will have worked to minimise potential disruptions.
Bloomberg quoted an analyst from IBK Securities, who asserted: “Based on checks we had with suppliers, Samsung has already done significant work to ensure smooth supply and not to repeat what they had to deal with last time.”
After a prolonged period of losses – HTC has reported year-on-year sales declines for the last 16 months – the company has pinned its hopes of recovery squarely on One.
It said it expects the device to give it a “material increase in revenue”.
However, with the latest delays, it will now not see the benefits until the second quarter – with its rivals not standing still in the meantime.
At the time of its launch, HTC said the launch of One will be its “biggest ever”, with support from more than 185 operators and retailers in more than 80 markets.