The HTC One is now widely available on AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile in the United States. However, there have been rumors that another carrier Verizon, the nation’s largest 4G LTE service provider, may be getting the device at some point in the future. For weeks now the rumors have been building and most recently, they point to a release in the near future.
In February, HTC announced the new HTC One, a powerful smartphone that comes with a number of high-end features including an all-metal design, 4.7-inch 1080p display, quad-core processor, Ultrapixel camera that can take some superb low light shots, Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and the new Sense 5 user interface.
It’s a device that is capable of taking on the best of the best, including the iPhone 5 and the Samsung Galaxy S4, its chief rivals in the United States. Also helping matters is the fact that HTC decided to stray away from a limited release this year and instead, make the device available on a number of carriers here in the U.S.
AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile are proud carriers of the HTC One and have been for many weeks now. However, rumors have persisted about another HTC One model, one for the nation’s largest 4G LTE carrier, Verizon Wireless.
Over the past few months, rumors of a Verizon HTC One have swirled and twisted many times over. The companies have refused to confirm the device, leaving consumers with a number of differing rumors and theories. In recent days though, things have picked up steam and right now we have some more leads on a potential Verizon HTC One.
With a possible launch just a few days away, we now want to take a look at the five most important things that consumers should know about this rumored, elusive Verizon HTC One.
It Could Be the Same HTC One
There have been rumors and theories as to what the HTC One may or may not be. One side has it being the same device, possibly identical, to the other HTC One models that were released in April. That means metal design, large 1080p display, lack of wireless charging and so on.
Another school of thought zeroed in on the possibility that Verizon’s HTC One could possibly be the HTC Butterfly 2, a rumored 5-inch smartphone and the successor to the HTC Butterfly, a device that arrived as the Droid DNA on Verizon back in November. That theory pegged the HTC One as the Droid DNA 2, a device that could potentially differ from the other models.
However, thanks to recent developments, it’s looking like the Verizon HTC One may just be the HTC One, albeit a few weeks late. The HTC Butterfly 2 isn’t thought to be coming out until the third quarter and given the lack of leaks, this appears likely. We’ve also heard from one noted HTC insider, @LLabTooFeR, who suggested that it would be the same device as the others.
Both remain possibilities but if Verizon does announce something soon, it’s likely going to be the same HTC One model that we’ve seen on shelves already. Not such a bad thing, but a potential disappointment for those that were hoping for something different.
Signs Point to May 22nd Launch
At this point, there are signs that do indeed point to a launch in the near future. The first, @LlabTooFeR, a reliable HTC insider stating that a Verizon launch is close. This claim lines up with a previous report from AllThingsD that suggested that the device would be coming out around one to two months after the other models.
Coincidentally, or not, Verizon has a May 22nd launch event planned for CTIA Las Vegas. And with the Nokia Lumia 928 out of the way, and VoLTE not planned for later this year, the May 22nd date is looking especially good for a HTC One arrival. Verizon could use the stage to promote both the HTC One and the Samsung Galaxy S4, a device that is set to arrive a day later.
Furthermore, Verizon is hosting a deal on the Droid DNA where it’s offering it for free until May 21st, the day before CTIA. The Droid DNA is thought to be the device getting replaced by an HTC One so it could be that Verizon is clearing out stock in preparation for another high-end HTC model.
Lastly, a recent report from Focus Taiwan suggests that HTC is ramping up production for its HTC One starting now. Is this in anticipation of the Verizon HTC One’s arrival? Could be.
Nothing is Set in Stone Though
Of course, there are holes in the argument for May 22nd, holes that unfortunately leave the launch date of the Verizon HTC One up in the air.
First, @LlabTooFeR, while reliable, isn’t HTC or Verizon. And while he said that an arrival on May 22nd is possible, he hasn’t confirmed it which means that it’s still a bit flimsy.
Second, it’s entirely possible that Verizon has something else up it sleeve for CTIA. Thus far, we’ve seen no leaks that show May 22nd as the HTC One launch date and even worse, we haven’t seen a Verizon HTC One branded device leak out, something that typically happens when we’re close to an arrival.
And third, it’s possible that the Droid DNA sale is simply that, a sale, for one of its big name smartphones. Remember, Verizon hasn’t launched a significant phone in 2013 and without an HTC One or Galaxy S4 on shelves, it needed to do something to attract consumers. A deal on one of its best smartphones is exactly that.
Release Date Still a Total Mystery
While there are hints and signs regarding a Verizon HTC One launch date, there are still no signs in regards to its release date. Strange, considering how close we are to May 22nd.
Verizon can be predictable when it comes to release dates as it’s typically slower than other carriers. A good example is the Samsung Galaxy S4 which will arrive nearly a month after the other models. However with the HTC One, it’s virtually impossible to say as the phone is still unannounced and it doesn’t have any leaks hinting at a specific date.
It’s possible that it could arrive on May 22nd, with a release date far off in the distance. But it’s also possible that we could see Verizon announce the phone and quickly get it out, considering how late it is to the device already.
Speaking of the wait, consumers should know that any Verizon HTC One model that comes out in the next few weeks is going to be facing some serious competition. For one, the Samsung Galaxy S4 is now widely available on a number of carriers, as is the HTC One. The iPhone 5 is still a solid option and the Nexus 4 appears set to get a white version with Android 4.3 in a few weeks, something that will keep it fresh.
Better yet, Google recently announced a new Samsung Galaxy S4 Nexus that comes with all of the features of a Nexus smartphone – vanilla Android, quick updates and an unlocked bootloader – a device that will be coming to Google Play in late June.
Indeed, the Verizon HTC One is going to be a great phone, if it exists, but it’s going to be facing more opposition than it would have faced had it been released back in April.
Something to keep in mind for those planning to go out shopping soon.