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HTC executive says the One is delayed due to the firm no longer being a big enough player in the industry

HTC One Reading

Check out our full review of the HTC One smart phone.

We heard last week that the HTC One’s release had suffered a delay, which saw its debut in the UK pushed from mid-March to the end of the month. HTC provided a short statement saying pre-orders would start being fulfilled around that time, but offered no explanation why there had been a delay in the first place.

Now, a report in the Wall Street Journal indicates a shortage of components needed to build the HTC One is to blame; but more worryingly, this has occurred because suppliers no longer consider HTC to be a big enough name in the industry, which means the company has had trouble signing deals.

An HTC executive is quoted as saying it has, “A problem managing its component suppliers as it has changed its order forecasts drastically and frequently,” something which happened after it posted consistently poor performance figures during 2012. The exec continues, “HTC has had difficulty in securing adequate camera components as it is no longer a tier-one customer.” That’s got to hurt, as HTC was once the world’s top Android smartphone manufacturer, and this statement only goes to show how the mighty have fallen. According to the report, it’s not just the new Ultrapixel camera parts which are causing headaches either, it’s the aluminum chassis, which is a major selling point of the new phone.

Samsung will release its Galaxy S4 smartphone in April, a phone to which the HTC One is a primary competitor, and lengthy delays in getting the One out into stores and into customer’s hands could be catastrophic for HTC. As if there wasn’t enough riding on the public embracing the phone already, CEO Peter Chou has apparently told senior executives he’ll step down if the phone isn’t a success.

We’ll have to wait and see whether the supply issues can be cured in time to get the HTC One on the shelves by early April, or if it turns into something more serious as the month goes on. We’re still waiting for a confirmed launch date from AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile, plus word on whether Verizon is going to carry the phone at all.