HTC One availability severely limited by issues with UltraPixel camera – industry sources

March 8, 2013

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Industry sources say that HTC is having trouble making enough camera modules for the new HTC One. As a result, the availability of the One could be severely limited in the next months.

You got to feel sorry for HTC. Once the champions of the Android world, the Taiwanese now seem caught in a death spiral. Just this week they reported the worst financial results in three years. The One is their (last?) hope of deliverance, but the signs are not good. In fact, they are awful.

A Taiwanese brokerage firm has cut their estimates for the number of One units that HTC would ship in the first half of 2013 by up to a massive 80 percent. The cuts are the result of “channel checks” ran by KGI Securities, that indicate HTC is having trouble securing crucial components required for mass production of the new flagship. The components are said to be the voice coil motor (VCM) and compact camera module (CCM) that go into the HTC One’s UltraPixel camera.

According to a KGI analyst, the yield rates for manufacturing the camera components are between 20% and 30% for the VCM and under 20% for the CCM. These are far below what can be considered a commercial yield. As a result, KGI says that HTC will only be able to ship between 800,000 and 1.2 million One units in the following months.

The UltraPixel camera is one of the pillars of HTC’s marketing strategy for the One. The company took a big risk with customers by opting for a novel 4MP sensor, at a time when most competitors are offering or planning to offer 13MP sensors. If these analyst predictions are accurate, the camera could ultimately be the downfall of the One, and possibly, of HTC.

Already, some signs indicate that HTC is trying to mitigate the impact of the yield issues, by delaying the launch of the One in smaller markets, like Singapore or Taiwan, in order to ensure supply in crucial markets like the US. HTC initially promised a global launch around March 15, but it now seems that big markets like China and Japan could get the One as late as May.

With Samsung preparing to unveil the Galaxy S4, and many other phone makers boasting competitive devices, HTC faces a bleak outlook if it can’t bring the One to market quickly. The brief window of opportunity that the company had is about to be slammed shut.

Comments

  • MasterMuffin

    I’d buy HTC if it didn’t have sense, it’s just nonsense!

    • http://AndroidAuthority.com/ Bogdan Petrovan

      Ha! HTC Nonsense. Has a nice ring to it.

  • k235

    So sad to sees HTC go, the CEO should resigned, their 4MP camera will be there downfall.

  • FD

    What a shame and how was this not foreseen by HTC management? Fire the CEO…period!

    • Rob C

      You understand that the fellow who made the “educated guess” is a Stock Trader who left a successful company to work in Thailand only recently.

      His own Company may be in the process of being bought by one of it’s Subsidiaries. He is allowed to guess, (as are we) but he is in a better position to make money from his guess.

      There is NOTHING to indicate that HTC will not fill it’s promised Orders.

      If your Phone company says it is coming then it almost certainly is. Smaller Countries (that want the Phone for a low price because People there are not rich) may be last on the List to get the Phone while the one’s who will pay the most (again, not naming names) will probably have nothing to worry about (and fund further Shipments to the rest of the World).

      Time will tell.

    • Rob C

      You understand that the fellow who made the “educated guess” is a Stock Trader who left a successful company to work in Thailand only recently.

      His own Company may be in the process of being bought by one of it’s Subsidiaries. He is allowed to guess, (as are we) but he is in a better position to make money from his guess.

      There is NOTHING to indicate that HTC will not fill it’s promised Orders.

      If your Phone company says it is coming then it almost certainly is. Smaller Countries (that want the Phone for a low price because People there are not rich) may be last on the List to get the Phone while the one’s who will pay the most (again, not naming names) will probably have nothing to worry about (and fund further Shipments to the rest of the World).

      Time will tell.

    • http://twitter.com/Shaun2k Shaun

      You believe everything you read without doing your due diligence! YOU’RE FIRED!

    • http://twitter.com/GOPisBrainDead GOPisBrainDead

      lol…your funny. Clearly you know nothing about Engineering or Manufacturing. It’s always a trade off between being cutting edge and being able to mass produce. Also thrown in a few thousand other variables not the least of which is price.

  • Bone

    As monsieur Vader said after trying out his new costume,

    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

    But that’s HTC for you. I mean it’s an incredible device performance, screen, battery-wise (8,5hrs continuous video playback), and the absolute worst thing that can happen is not being able to push enough units before the SIV kicks off.

    HTC bet everything on UltraPixels, and if that will be their downfall, they can only blame themselves.

  • 72goojman72

    Who the heck wants a 4 megapixel camera anyway??

    • Bone

      Who doesn’t like 13 million pixels of mess in every situation other than clean sunny day outside.

    • gast

      stupid idiot !!!! learn to read

  • shredzone

    So, there are chances for a “HTC One Minus” with classic 12MP camera and standard microphones? :-)

    • http://www.facebook.com/rexmtorres Rex Mag-uyon Torres

      Beat me to it! I was going to say exactly the same thing! Well… I was going to say 13MP… :p

      • http://twitter.com/GOPisBrainDead GOPisBrainDead

        Probably would not be that hard to change the camera and create a submodel. It could already be in the works.

  • http://twitter.com/danmcsw danmcsw

    By the time the components shortage is resolved, Snapdragon 600 will likely be overshadowed by the arrival of its more powerful sibling the 800. Galaxy S4 will probably have been in stores for about 3 months, and we will at least know some more about the activities of Google from I/O, vis a vis Motorola, X-Phone, Key Lime Pie etc. That’s without even mentioning what may be happening down at everyone’s favourite (sic) fruit company, if as suspected the tick-tock gets moved to a half year cadence instead of the previous yearly release.

    HTC may well have finally been killed by their gimmicks. If so by next year HTC could be bought out.

    • alex

      are you stupid? HTC gimmicks? HTC is better than most, if not all other phone manufacturers, and far outshines samsung, not even talking about apple, which is simply atrocious

      • http://twitter.com/danmcsw danmcsw

        The funny stuff fanbois say! They were so busy outshining everybody last year that they almost forgot to sell any phones.

        • http://twitter.com/Shaun2k Shaun

          You call him a fanboy then you spout stuff like that.. Let me guess you own a SG3 and just cant wait for that SG4.

          • http://twitter.com/danmcsw danmcsw

            No, your silly attempt at reading me is wrong on both counts actually.
            I own a HTC Sensation and can’t wait for X phone. I have no particular brand loyalty. My other phone is a Sony and my tab is an Asus Nexus 7. The only one of those who will never again see a penny from me is HTC, but what would I know, I’m just a fanboy of Samsung, whom I neither own nor have any immediate plan to buy.(sic)

  • http://www.facebook.com/ghassan.abdulwahhab Ghassan Abdul Wahhab

    they could made the camera 8 or 13 ultra pixel camera and they could
    made the screen 5 inch and bezel-less from the sides. it would not sell
    10 million only. it would sell 50 million for sure. they made a big mistake
    HTC the features are not enough to make many people to buy it. they lost
    there chance this year it can’t compete with other smartphones features
    wise. the design is great but it should been fully bezel-less from the
    sides.

  • Guest

    HTC

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Basama-Hussain/100000719389746 Basama Hussain

    who wants 4MP camera go home HTC
    YOU BLEW IT!!!!

    • cycad007

      You sadly have no idea what you’re talking about and very little comprehension of camera technology.

      For the record, 4 MP is more than plenty….megapixels ultimately isn’t what you want. What you want is noise reduction for crisper cleaner pictures…that’s where HTC’s larger camera sensor comes in. Another advantage with that larger camera sensor is that the HTC One will excel at taking photos in low-light.

      If you were to do a side-by-side comparison between a HTC One and say….a Samsung Galaxy S3, you’ll see a difference in picture quality. Needless to say, I’d wager most people would view the HTC One’s “Ultrapixel” sensor as superior.

    • bob

      It’s Ultra Pixel you idiot.

  • stuigi

    I am glad that they are hurting. My Thunderbolt and all its hype was a disaster. The battery life was horrible. The sync function wiped out my outlook many times (thank goodness I had backups) and their customer service was basically non-existent. I swore up and down to their reps that I would never own another HTC phone. Companies run like that deserve to disappear

  • somebloke

    i wouldn’t buy any device without an external sdcard as i can imagine rooting it and installing mods would be problematic in the future without it , not to mention buying a device with effectively an untested camera system.

  • Lulf

    Xperia Z here I come

  • Wade Stubblefield

    I don’t want to have to buy a Samsung. HTC Amaze was my first large smart phone (Comet before that). I liked the rubbery back for staying in my hand better. It felt more solid in my hands. Is Samsung really better? I just have issues with them since the whole they-might-be-copycats deal even though I heard how they won something or another vs Apple.

    • http://www.facebook.com/steve.park2 Steve Park

      Ditto here on the Amaze 4G. It was released here the same day as the Samsung Galaxy SII. If you held both, there was no doubt that the HTC was the better looking and built device. Still happy with my Amaze 4G. Was looking forward to getting the One for my wife. She has been getting my hand me downs and the MyTouch 4G she was using locked up, so she is using my old MyTouch 3G until the end of the month when we were hoping that we can get the HTC One off contract on the new T-Mobile plan.

  • LIza

    But HTC is the best product!?!

  • http://www.androider.de/ Johannes “Jojo” Siemers

    Well, at least they produced already a few HTC One´s. O2 Germany delivered the first batch to a few customers yesterday.

  • Bill Van

    Can Apple still be able to catch up? Investor say no….But it’s possible.

  • TomasHunter

    It is a shame that HTC is having trouble getting these beautiful phones to the waiting masses; but I just read an article that said the One should ship on time to the U.S. That’s great news for me because I have a preorder, and I want the phone before I leave on a business trip for DISH. Of course I need it to stay connected, but my phone is also my number one source of entertainment. I use DISH Anywhere to watch my local news channels while out of town, but I have found that it’s also a great way to wait out flight delays and layovers.

  • http://twitter.com/GOPisBrainDead GOPisBrainDead

    No worries. I’ll wait. HTC has earned my loyalty.