HTC: Samsung uses key component supply as a competitive weapon


Samsung’s been doing this whole “electronics thing” for a quite sometime now. As one of the world’s largest electronics manufacturers, Samsung not only makes some of the most kickass smartphones on the market, but they also build their own semiconductors (CPU’s), memory, washers, televisions, cameras — basically if it’s tech, Samsung’s got their hands in it. There’s no question they’ve worked hard to get where they’re at today, with an almost overbearing presence in the smartphone market alone.

The thing is Samsung doesn’t just make all these goodies for themselves. One of Samsung’s biggest customers has long been Apple, whose chose Samsung to build the “Retina” displays in their iPad. In fact, it wasn’t too long ago that HTC too was Samsung customer. At one point, both the Nexus One and HTC Desire housed AMOLED displays until, well… Samsung stopped. This forced HTC to use traditional LCD not just for these devices, but from every device then on.

Apparently there’s still some bad blood over Samsung’s decision to reject HTC’s AMOLED orders back in 2010. In an interview, president of HTC North Asia Jack Tong learned some hard lessons about Samsung after their dealings saying, “We found that key component supply can be used as a competitive weapon.” According to Focus Taiwan, Samsung may have “strategically declined” HTC’s business in order to come out on top in the smartphone race (and boy, did it work).

While this could be seen as an underhanded move by Samsung, in the long run it didn’t exactly hurt HTC. HTC was able to bounce back after transitioning to SLCD, which has been widely seen as superior to AMOLED thanks to a more traditional RGB layout.

Perhaps we’ll never know the whole story, but one thing is clear: HTC still has their sights locked onto Samsung, and if better smartphones are built as the result of this rivalry, it’s only us, the consumer, that wins in the end.

[via The Verge]

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TAGS: HTC Desire , Nexus One

  • Scott Zahlmann

    Sounds like something Sammy would do. They even ate all the cake at my grandmas birthday party! Those d-bags

    • nycplayboy78

      In my Captain Kirk’s Wrath of Khan voice………SAMSUNG!!!!!!

      HAHAHAHA :)

  • jackjiarocks

    HA HA
    Coming from some one who just announced another mid-range phone
    with probably another 12 coming down the pipe.

    HTC, Stop making so many phones, streamline your products and use ur last year’s flagship as the mid-range phone. HTC is having a brand name crysis , do its high level execs even know how many phones they released last year?

    • James

      HTC has come out with two phones this year.

    • DavidVarghese

      And Samsung released even more… Your point?

    • DDroid45

      htc has the one, a upcoming, mini version, desire 600, and possibly a phablet, not bad actually

      • jackjiarocks

        Desire 200 also appeared on the testing sites.

        add them up (also htc first) and most likely another verizon contract device at the end of year.

        For a company that said to focus on building less phone and have better marketing. I dont think its really enough.

        • DDroid45

          man i dont count the htc first, i think facebook chose them, and that 200 is prolly for real cheap pocket people, those phones aren’t even relevant

          • jackjiarocks

            Regardless HTC still made an investment and few days ago when the news came out about First being a total disaster that workers in HTC are discouraged

        • Tony Lai

          Yea, then add up how many devices samsung has come up with. Do the math while you are at it. Stop with the weak arguments.

          • jackjiarocks

            Is HTC Samsung?

            In tern of size, marketing budget , deveopment and support team

    • Tony Lai

      Samsung has like 10 million galaxy lines on its own, LOL.

  • optimummind

    Although Mr Tong isn’t saying it explicitly, he seems to imply that HTC’s poor performance is in large part due to Samsung’s strategic withholding of components from them. But if that’s true, how do you explain the fact that HTC is so low that they’re behind other vendors such as LG, Huawei, and ZTE. Just excuses for their poor and imcompetent execution in the past few years.

    • simpleas

      Yes, htc keeps playing the blame game. until they realize it’s themselves, they will never rise.

      • Manbo

        They actually listen to consumers.
        If the ONE had a bigger battery, it would already be in my and likely many other’s hands right now.

        • TimmyB44

          In case you haven’t been paying attention, the ONE is already IN the hands of millions RIGHT NOW!

          • Manbo

            And double that for the S4.
            If you read my statement again, I’m pointing out that they would have *MORE* people using their phone.

          • Patrick Washington

            5 million people aren’t complaining about the size of the battery. And noone would have predicted 5 million, so comparing that to 10 million of samsung is stupid. Because that was the expectation for samsung, but not for HTC.

          • Tony Lai

            Plus I like how Samsung says, 10 million device are shipped, where hTC has the guts saying 5 millions are sold.

          • Tony Lai

            Double that is what Samsung wants you to think. Sold and shipped are two different things. Again, Samsung plays with words and ppl blinded assume it that way.

          • Mark Long

            Sold and shipped are exactly the same thing as far as Samsung is concerned. They aren’t giving these phones away to be sold by others. No, they’re selling them to vrndors who will in turn sell them to consumers. All those shipped units are indeed sold units, at least by Samsung. Hope that clears up the confusion. Probably more likev13-15

          • simpleas

            Can you guys just stfu? it’s 95% of Android.. thats 95% of Androids profit goes to Samsung

    • Roaduardo

      HTC thought it was ready for prime time. Their house is clearly not in order with those high-level execs leaving. Companies like LG and Samsung have other tech ventures (TV’s/home appliances…). They can take bigger risks than HTC can. They’re just too small to stand strong along side the big dogs.

  • taz89

    I call bs… Samsung did have shortages of amoled displays hence why they had to use slcd for there own devices like the nexus s and galaxy s in some countries..why would they change displays for there own products if they didn’t have shortages…HTC just cant accept that Samsung for now are top..why complain 3 years later and not 3 years ago when you were on top.

    • DavidVarghese

      Since we’re playing “conspiracy theory” here, who reported that Samsung was running short of displays? Samsung?
      Just sayin’… Lol

      • taz89

        Am not saying its a conspiracy theory…my point was that the fact that Samsung themselves had to stop using amoled screens for there own high end devices (which is a fact) points to the fact that they probably did have a shortage..

        • DavidVarghese

          Well, the Nexus S wasn’t their bread and butter, and it only denied the amoled screen for relatively smaller (than the US/UK) markets. This article suggests a conspiracy theory against Samsung, which is why I said it.

          • taz89

            OK…still do think that Samsung did have a shortages like you said the UK is a huge market and they stopped using amoleds here too…also if HTC believed Samsung “betrayed” them for lack of a better word lol why did they go back to them to use amoled on the one s…surely if they felt that they can’t rely on Samsung them they wouldn’t go back..maybe they both correct, Samsung probably did hold back from supplying HTC because they wanted to make sure they had enough for themselves which makes sense but they still ended up short…anyways this is old news, I just find it surprising that HTC decides to complain 3 years theory is that HTC is just doing all it can to make Samsung look as negative as possible.

          • DavidVarghese

            Yeah I believe you when you say that HTC is trying to make Samsung look bad, especially now more than ever since HTC is trying more than ever to get a bigger Android market share.

    • techpro1993

      I call bs…

      Samsung is no Mr. Nice Guy. In designing a major phone, HTC queried Samsung about availability of parts. Samsung either setting up HTC for failure or incapable of volume production chose to screw HTC and supply themselves. Just by holding parts that HTC can’t produce enough units, those customers would have to go to their only choice which is Samsung. This definitely hurt end customers since there is no real choice.

      Fool me once shame on you and fool me twice shame on me. HTC learned its lesson and decided not to be screwed by Samsung again.

  • REVS

    slcd is way better

  • Derrick Pitts

    Cmon Sammy, monopolize the industry fairly bro…

  • shmigga

    Very smart on Samsung’s part! Samoled > slcd.

    • Aslan Bollin

      only when pertaining to black levels. SLCD>AMOLED in every other aspect.

      • shmigga

        And colors and viewing angles and power consumption.

        • Aslan Bollin

          Colors are more natural on slcd and are oversaturated on amoled. Sorry, I forgot Amoled fans like to use the word “vibrant”

          Granted, Amoled blacks are black while slcd black is more a really really dark grey. Slcd whites are white while amoled whites are grey/blue tinted so..

          Power consumption they are about the same these days.

          Viewing angles I’ll give you But it’s not drastically superior and besides. Who really uses their phone from that drastic of an angle ?aside from the nosey people trying to see what your doing? Seriously. I never understood the viewing angle comparisons for a device you hold upto your face… Lol

          Slcd is also superior outside, you know, In the daylight.

  • simpleas

    Keep owning them Sammy, these sore losers need to leave the mobile world.

  • bmg314

    Um, frankly, so what?

    If this is true, then it’s just business. There are no friends in business. There is no loyalty in business. “It’s not personal. It’s just business.”

    Am I missing something?

    • Roaduardo

      Nope, I share your thoughts. In the mobile phone market it’s a bloody battle. Everyone for themselves.

  • alexguitar

    I’m personally over amoled displays… Got tired of the off whites and over saturated colors… And the screen burn-in is just terrible. Go into any phone store and checkout the samsung demos…

    • simpleas

      Nope, theres a reason why amoleds will always be superior. And theres a reason why Sammy despite having BETTER LCD capabilities than one (ask apple) uses Amoleds for the top end phones. Cry more, makes me happy.

      • alexguitar

        Why will amoled always be superior? Is it due to the penile matrix? The sub par outdoor visibility? Please sir enlighten me? I will say that amoleds are the future of display technology but in there current state I don’t see the benefits over LCD…

  • mirage03

    i remember this story.. samsung did have a shortage display, if that’s even true… But are they blaming samsung for not being as successful as them? was the samoled display the major factor why the galaxy line became a success? i think it was more than that.. i believe the camera was better, the graphics hummingbird was also better, processor, etc. etc. Even when the one x came out with a new display , galaxy s 3 still sold better..

    HTC, i wish you stay in this business..

  • David Gray

    Wow the Nexus One..what a phone!

  • alpinesurf

    HTC: Loudly crying

    Did HTC just join capitalism? This is what companies do: compete. For example, Apple buys up the entire supply chain so that competitors will not be able to use them.

    No wonder HTC is dead. HTC has done nothing but complain and blame others for their own incompetence and failures.

    I used to like them, but now they’re just desperately pathetic.

  • peter g

    Sounds like sour grapes. Sammy is at a key advantage making so many key components in-house.

  • fengyou841