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HTC One shipments delayed by component shortage

The launch of HTC's new flagship smartphone has been delayed, according to reports.

A shortage of components like metal casings and camera parts have put the kibosh on shipments of the HTC One, executives told the Wall Street Journal.

The revamped smartphone debuted in February. Boasting a 4.7in full HD 1080p display with 468 ppi, HTC said the new device will provide users with an "unprecedented" experience, one that runs a 1.7GHz, quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 processor and the customised Android platform, HTC Sense.

HTC promised at the time that the One would be available in late March from 183 other carriers in more than 80 countries. Now it looks like customers will have to wait a little longer.

An HTC spokesman declined to comment on the shipment speculation, but said in a statement that the company will start fulfilling pre-orders by the end of March in certain markets, and expects to roll out to more markets in April.

Telecom operator Vodafone confirmed the hold up, saying that HTC notified the firm of shipment delays. Meanwhile, Best Buy said in a statement to the Journal that the retailer's plan to sell the smartphone by the third week of March has been postponed.

Considered HTC's last-ditch effort to burst back into the smartphone market, this delay could be a massive setback for the company, which faces competition from the newly unveiled Samsung Galaxy S4, set to start rolling out in April.

HTC told the Journal that "the company has a problem managing its component suppliers" as it drastically changes orders following last year's shipment slump. "HTC has had difficulty in securing adequate camera components as it is no longer a tier-one customer," an anonymous company executive said.

The phone manufacturer has lagged behind Apple and Samsung for some time, closing out 2012 in dead last, following LG and Motorola, as well. The company is apparently not taking things lying down, though. HTC marketing execs and other staffers were on hand outside Samsung's big Galaxy S4 launch last week, offering journalists waiting in line a peek at the HTC One (and hot chocolate).