When Apple had declared war on Samsung by first alleging that the latter stole its designs and innovations and subsequently moving its sourcing of components away from Samsung, many thought Apple was being overly dramatic. However, it looks like Apple did have cause for concern about sourcing its components from Samsung as HTC is now finding out.
In an interview in its home country with Focus Taiwan, HTC head for the North Asian market Jack Tong spoke candidly about his company’s tenuous relationship with that of rival Samsung. Like Apple’s Steve Jobs and Tim Cook, Tong did not hold back on some of the accusations he was making of rival Android smartphone-maker Samsung.
According to Tong, Samsung had held his company hostage with the supplies of components.
A few years ago, HTC had launched the HTC Desire, a smartphone that debuted with an AMOLED display manufactured by Samsung. However, after the initial launch, Tong says that Samsung suddenly constrained supplies, saying that it could not produce enough AMOLED panels. This forced the HTC Desire to stay off the shelves for a while, at least until HTC re-designed the phone to use the Super LCD screen.
Ironically, however, HTC has found much success with its use of Super LCD, or S-LCD, panels on its phones. The screen technology is bright, crisp, and renders accurate colors, and phones like the HTC One X, HTC One, and HTC Droid DNA are all praised for their brilliant displays.
Still, with Samsung controlling so many parts of the mobile industry, being a major supplier of memory chips, RAM, processors, displays, and radios, it could potentially hold any competitor hostage. HTC said it found out the hard way. At the time, the company was one of the leading smartphone manufacturers, but Samsung’s strategy, along with a huge marketing budget, flipped the tides and now Samsung and rival Apple are controlling the smartphone market.
More recently, the HTC One is the latest handset plagued by component shortages, though it’s unclear which components were affected and if Samsung is ultimately a culprit behind the latest scarcity of the One flagship.
This is just the latest chapter in the technology soap opera.