Following speculation since March of weaker-than-hoped-for sales by HTC of its flagship One M9 smartphone, rumors are spreading that the Taiwanese company has just cut component orders for the phone by ~30%.
Digitimes is reporting today that sources at “Taiwan’s handset supply chain” have indicated the cut in orders of components and related parts is attributable to flat sales as a result of the M9’s identical design to its predecessor. Last month an analyst speaking to the Taipei Times on the condition of anonymity placed some of the blame for low sales on concerns of overheating issues with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 810, saying “HTC might have underestimated the Qualcomm Inc S810 processor’s thermal issue, and this has resulted in poor reviews and concern from carriers.”
While we are unable to confirm the validity of this rumor, it wouldn’t be too outlandish. HTC typically sees a noticeable bump in sales during the first 1-2 months after new flagship goes on sale, but earlier this month the company reported that revenue for the month of April – when the One M9 was released to wide availability – was actually down 38 percent year-over-year; that figure was also down 33 percent from just the month prior. Also handset makers typically like to trumpet their success when new phones are performing well, and HTC hasn’t done that here.
Just a few days ago we heard rumors that HTC will not make a “mini” variant of its One M9, as it has usually done shortly after the launches of its newest flagship HTC One phones, due to a shift in consumer desire towards larger and larger phones. HTC is also currently being squeezed by both sides of the market – at the low-end by companies like Xiaomi, Oppo, and Huawei, and at the high-end by Samsung in particular, who has come back fighting with the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge after poor reviews and demand for the Galaxy S5.
Yesterday HTC’s stock dropped to a ten-year low on the Taiwan Stock Exchange.