HTC’s One device could hardly have got a better critical reception.
The device has been lauded from all corners, with its stunning screen, impressive UltraPixel camera and sharp design earning it a series of 5-star reviews.
While critical success hasn’t been HTC’s problem in recent years, falling sales most certainly have.
Which is why news that pre-orders of the device are soaring is a big deal for the Taiwanese titan.
The company itself revealed news of its pre-registration success via a leaked internal memo.
It said that the handset has enjoyed the “strongest initial response for any smartphone we’ve ever designed” with “several hundred thousand people in the US pre-registering to purchase the new HTC One”.
The fact that US punters are so keen should have HTC staffers jumping for joy.
However, there’s one major snag that could scupper the One’s chances of pulling HTC back from the brink. And that’s component delays.
While HTC had already said that it wasn’t expecting the One to ship until April, having initially slated it for a late March release, more details of what’s causing the hold-up have begun to emerge.
Speaking to the Wall Street Journal yesterday, HTC’s Benjamin Ho said: “There is some shortage.
“Because the phone's camera was designed specifically for us and production cannot be ramped up so quickly.”
The One’s camera is arguably its biggest draw, thanks to improved lowlight smarts and HTC Zoe effects.
Obviously, it’s essential that HTC nails this aspect before it starts shipping devices. But this hold-up could not have been more poorly timed.
Why? Well, for starters, Samsung is launching its Galaxy S4 in the US at the start of April.
That means the biggest Android rival to HTC’s phone will be hitting shelves before it does, not what HTC originally had planned.
This a major blow, as millions of punters will have seen Sammy’s impossible-to-miss marketing campaign and will doubtless fancy a piece of the action.
HTC needs these customers more than ever, in order to boost its ailing bottom line.
BGR has even suggested that volumes could be restricted well into May and June.
That throws up the prospect of Apple unleashing the iPhone 5S while HTC scrambles to get the One into stores.
Cupertino is always pretty good at getting new iPhones on shelves within weeks of their announcement and even if its new model isn’t a world-beating update, demand will still be high.
It’s a nightmare for HTC. With a phone as good as the One, it really deserves a break.
The hope has to be that punters desperate for a new smartphone will weigh up their decisions long and hard before pulling the trigger.
Otherwise it could be a long summer for Taiwan’s number-one mobile-maker.
The HTC One has just gone on sale in the UK at Dialaphone. How far HTC has overcome the shortages will become apparent in weeks to come.