It looks like Verizon HTC One buyers are going to have to wait even longer for the device to emerge from the shadows as the device’s release date has been pushed back to August 15th, just another setback in a launch that has, quite simply, been unacceptable.
Prior to the HTC One’s launch in February, rumors suggested that it would be heading to AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile, something that turned out to be true. All three carriers threw their weight behind the device almost immediately and wound up launching the HTC One, after a short delay, in late April alongside the Samsung Galaxy S4.
There also, however, were rumors that the HTC One would be heading to Verizon’s 4G LTE network, a prospect that excited consumers thanks to Verizon’s massive 4G LTE network and its highly rated customer support. Verizon did not confirm the HTC One initially like the other carriers. Instead, the carrier waited for two months before confirming the device for arrival.
On June 3rd, HTC and Verizon confirmed the good news. The Verizon HTC One would be hitting shelves sometime this summer. However, the companies decided that it wasn’t time to release any other details. Since June 3rd, nearly two months ago, prospective Verizon HTC One buyers have been searching for information in regards to the device. And unfortunately, neither company has obliged.
Earlier this month, it appeared that the device was set for an August 1st launch but today, word got out that the company would not be releasing the device tomorrow and instead, the release date was moved to August 15th, a solid two weeks from now and more than two months after the initial announcement.
As someone who isn’t planning to buy the Verizon HTC One, this news doesn’t bother me. However, the Verizon HTC One launch situation is completely unacceptable, reminiscent of the bungled HTC ThunderBolt launch so many years ago. And here’s why.
Lack of Details
For those that remember, the HTC ThunderBolt launch was an absolute nightmare, plagued by delays, release date rumors, and more, all while the device was official. I didn’t think the companies would find a way to top that mangled launch but they have. The Verizon HTC One launch is on par with the worst smartphone launches of all time.
Now, I understand that Verizon is completely within what it announced which was that it would be out this summer. Summer ends in late September. However, the fact that it has now been two months since that announcement and neither company has uttered a word about the details is, in a word, ridiculous.
No release date. No pricing. No details on the features. Not even an official photo of the device. Nothing. It’s as if this phone doesn’t exist. Only it does, and it’s a phone that many people want to buy. Keep in mind, this is a phone that has been out on shelves since April. It’s nothing new. So it’s just mind-boggling how badly HTC and Verizon have dropped the ball here.
I’ve argued that it probably has something to do with the testing of Android 4.2 which is said to be stock on the Verizon HTC One and has yet to roll out to other carriers in the U.S. I think that’s why we might be seeing these generic sounding August 1st and August 15th release dates because Verizon simply doesn’t know when it will be done testing the software.
News flash. Android 4.2 is out on the market and if that’s the hold up, just share that with consumers. No harm in that.
I’ve seen other people argue that the carrier is simply just trying to figure out how to space out the launches of the Moto X, Droid MAXX, Droid Ultra and Droid Mini before announcing anything. Perhaps that is true, but you would think that Verizon and HTC could at least confirm the pricing and the features on board the device.
Instead, silence reigns as we march into August without any answers.
Other Device Launches
Prospective HTC One Verizon buyers have also been treated to a Verizon event post-HTC One announcement for the Droid MAXX, Droid Ultra and Droid Mini, three devices that were promptly given release dates and pricing. Talk about a slap in the face.
Tomorrow, Verizon will likely confirm the Moto X for arrival along with a number of other carriers and it may tag with it with a price and an August release date. Two slaps in the face. It’s a trend that HTC One buyers can’t escape.
Now I understand product pipelines and how difficult nailing down timing is. I get it. But what I don’t get is why HTC and Verizon confirmed this device, this old device, two months ago if they knew that they wouldn’t be able to supply customers with answers. Someone must have seen this coming, seen HTC USA’s Facebook and Twitter account getting inundated with questions that it simply can’t answer.
Verizon is notoriously slow to launch devices. Cases in point, the Galaxy Note 2 and the Galaxy S4. However, Verizon wasn’t this late with either of those launches and it’s never late when it comes to Apple’s iPhone. Verizon continues to treat HTC like a third wheel which is unfortunate because the HTC One is one of the best smartphones of the year. And it’s things like this that contributed to HTC’s free fall as a company. It’s sad to see.
So while I hope this is the last time HTC and Verizon pull a launch like this, it’s impossible to ignore history.