HTC said Friday’s earthquake and tsunami in Japan did not have a significant impact on its global business, and that it was on track with shipments and future plans.
The Taiwan-based handset maker is confident it can keep delivering smartphones despite reports that shipment may be disrupted by a temporary supply halt from Japanese handset component maker Mitsubishi Gas Chemical Company. Concerns about shipment sent HTC shares down on the Taipei stock exchange.
“HTC global supply chain and distribution channels remain unaffected and operating as normal,” said Peter Chou, HTC’s chief executive. “We have a comprehensive business continuity strategy and framework in place, which activates a secondary supply chain, in the event of a crisis or natural disaster, such as last Friday’s massive earthquake.”
Other technology companies such as Nikon and Panasonic said some employees were hurt and factories suffered damages and were closed for investigation. Reliance on semiconductors produced in factories along the northern shore of Japan that was devastated by the tsunami has led to predictions that shortages will ripple through the technology industry. Whether HTC is a lucky exception or indicative of greater than expected resilience in the sector remains to be seen.
The concern of investors on the effect of the recent events in Japan on HTC highlights the recent momentum of the company, especially as it harnesses the growing popularity of the Android operating system to surges in profits and revenue.
HTC hopes to continue its hot streak and is expected to release its Thunderbolt 4G smartphone on Thursday. The Thunderbolt, available through Verizon, is said to download data ten times faster than 3G phones, with average data rates of 5 to 12-megabits per second, allowing users to download large files faster and stream high quality video.
The company has been on the forefront of innovation since working with Google to produce the G1, the first Android phone, in 2008. HTC also unveiled in February revamped versions of the Incredible, Desire and Wildfire, three Android-based smartphones. It also announced its first tablet, called the Flyer, running Android’s “Honeycomb” software, which is optimized for the larger screen.
HTC, which last month launched handsets with a dedicated Facebook button, also aims to ride the success of social networking, as nearly 250 million Facebook users access the site from mobile devices.