HTC talks strategic advantage of control over phone components
HTC sometimes seems to be cursed with bad luck, and a number of the unexpected problems it’s faced stem from issues with the components that help make up smartphones. Most recently, we saw Nokia snatch away access to the HAAC microphone components HTC had been using for its One handset, after the company producing them for Nokia distributed them to HTC without Nokia’s blessing. That’s far from the first time HTC’s had to rethink a phone’s design post-launch due to component issues, and President of HTC North Asia Jack Tong recently shared a few words about HTC’s past experiences along this line.
Tong brings up the tale of the HTC Desire, which you may have been using back in 2010. The handset launched with a Samsung-made AMOLED panel, but HTC was forced to change production to use an S-LCD display instead, due to what we though at the time were shortages on Samsung’s end.
Instead, Tong now describes Samsung’s actions to stop providing AMOLED screens for the Desire as the company having “strategically declined” to continue aiding HTC. He goes on to explain the lesson HTC learned from this incident, noting, “we found that key component supply can be used as a competitive weapon.”
Of course, this Nokia business suggests that HTC might not have fully learned its lesson, but it sounds like the company is interested in tightening-up its own supply chain in the hopes of avoiding similar situations in the future.