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HTC 11 won’t be launching next month – is Samsung to blame?

If you were hoping that HTC’s next flagship phone would be unveiled at MWC 2017, we’ve got some bad news for you.

A senior HTC executive has confirmed that the HTC 11 is still quite a way off launching, and definitely won’t be ready in time for Barcelona’s MWC 2017 tradeshow next month. Speaking to TBreak, Chialin Chang, HTC’s President of Smartphones and Connected Devices, explained that the company is having to wait for the right components before debuting a new handset.

“Every time there is a brand new CPU with power that we can leverage, we’re always at the forefront doing that,” he explained. “Some people are talking about the timing, but timing was determined nine months ago. This [the Snapdragon 821 inside the HTC Ultra U is the best CPU out there. When the next flagship CPU comes, HTC will be one of the very first tier doing that.”

“When we will look back, it will be clear why HTC introduced [the Ultra phones]. We want to have a couple of months of leadership before the next flagship CPU comes,” he continued, adding: “But that will be in another period of time – not at MWC. Not for us or any other player, I can tell you that for sure. When the new CPU comes, HTC will have another flagship.”

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What’s likely is that Chang is referencing Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835, the company’s latest (and most powerful) processor. When HTC launched the Ultra U last month, fans were confused by the chip’s absence – instead, it featured last year’s Snapdragon 821. But it seems the company hasn’t been able to turn out a flagship with the Snapdragon 835 quickly enough.

According to the rumour mill, that may be all down to Samsung. A recent Forbes report suggested that Samsung has bought up the initial supply of Snapdragon 835 chips for its upcoming Galaxy S8 smartphone, leaving other manufacturers – like LG and HTC – in the lurch.

As a result of this alleged coup, LG is reportedly planning to utilise the Snapdragon 821 in its LG G6 smartphone, which we’re expecting to see in Barcelona next month. And it seems HTC is similarly affected by the apparent chip supply delays.

It’s not surprising that Samsung has managed to get its hands on the Snapdragon 835, however; the company’s foundry arm is actually manufacturing the chip for Qualcomm, and so may have been given first dibs – although this has not been confirmed by either party.

In any case, it seems sensible enough for HTC to hold out until it can release a Snapdragon 835 flagship later in the year.

Related: Huawei P10

Watch: MWC 2017 – What to expect

What would you like to see from the HTC 11? Let us know in the comments.

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