Because of its extremely affordable price tag (for the unlocked version), the Google Nexus 4 has become arguably the biggest threat to Apple and Samsung’s domination of the smartphone market. And though it has, in a way, benefited Nexus 4 maker LG, Google is the biggest beneficiary of the device’s success – after all, the Nexus 4 is a “pure” Google phone without any manufacturer user interface baked in. Still, there are other tough competitors this year that could be, or are currently stepping up their game. HTC, for example, is apparently doing very well with its new flagship, Droid DNA.
Once considered to be a struggling company that slipped even further with the solid, but unspectacular sales of its One series, HTC appears to be making significant gains. That’s what is suggested by several unconfirmed reports, which claim that sales of HTC handsets are much higher than expected, something which may lead to low yield rates as a result of a lack of available components.
Chief among these components are ITO (Indium Tin Oxide) films, which basically reduce interference on the average touchscreen display, and voice coil motors, which come in handy in ensuring image stabilization and other camera functions. Printed circuit boards may also be in short supply due to a lack of availability in Japan and Taiwan. All this, claim reports, is causing supplies of the Droid DNA (known as the Butterfly in most of Asia and J Butterfly in Japan) to be quite dear as of the moment. Then again, even big companies such as Apple have recently experienced low yields and supply constraints for both the iPhone 5 and iPad mini.
According to HTC chief executive officer Peter Chou, the worst is apparently over for the Taiwanese company, and 2013 seems like a year that “will not be too bad.” All that, of course, will depend on the success of HTC’s flagships – the Droid DNA (as it’s known in America) and the rumored M7.