5 Thoughts on the Missing Verizon HTC One

In February, HTC unleashed its latest and greatest smartphone, the HTC One, a device that has landed to solid reviews and loads of fanfare. And while the device has yet to hit Verizon, the United States’ largest 4G LTE service provider, rumors of an arrival have been nothing short of substantial. However, even after a press event at CTIA, the device remains missing, with consumers still uncertain about when or if it will ever touch down on shelves.

Since the start of the year, rumors have been swirling about the HTC One, rumors that were put to rest by HTC’s announcement in New York City in February wherein the company showcased its brand new hardware and software for the world to see. The HTC One is not ordinary phone, it’s a flagship, and thus, it has some powerful features.

We could see a Verizon HTC One at the Verizon announcement.

The Verizon HTC One is still missing, even after CTIA.

Its features include a 4.7-inch 1080p display, gorgeous and smaller than many of the other flagships that have hit shelves in recent days. It features a powerful quad-core processor. It has a fantastic Ultrapixel camera on board that can shoot great pictures both in regular settings and in low-light environments, something that is extremely important to smartphone users.

It has amazing speakers, including two front-facing speakers. It has a full metal design that is on par with the iPhone 5’s. And of course, it features a combination of Android 4.1 Jelly Bean with the new Sense 5, HTC’s UI that not only possesses some powerful new components like HTC Zoe and HTC BlinkFeed but also brings a new look to the table.

Suffice to say, it’s a device that is on the radar of millions of consumers. And while many people have swooped up the AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile models, others have been holding out hope for an elusive version of the HTC One, the HTC One for Verizon.

In the past few months, speculation has been rampant, speculation that built up to what appeared to be the grand finale: Verizon’s CTIA Las Vegas announcement. Only, Verizon didn’t announce the HTC One, leaving it with an uncertain future.

This is Not Shocking

While we had heard that a launch at CTIA was possible, we weren’t the least bit surprised that the HTC One wasn’t announced on stage at Verizon’s event at CTIA. Many consumers were, but let’s be reasonable for a second.

First, there were no indications that this was going to be a product launch. We didn’t see the device leak out, something that tends to happen, and we didn’t see any substantial leaks pointing to the event as the launch for the HTC One save for one report earlier today that didn’t seem sure of itself and some remarks from an HTC insider who said that a launch was possible.

There was a lot of JLo, but no HTC One at Verizon's event.

There was a lot of JLo, but no HTC One at Verizon’s event.

Nothing concrete and no leaks in the build up make the lack of a Verizon HTC launch at CTIA unsurprising.

What was surprising was the actual contents of the event, the unveiling of Verizon’s partnership with Viva Movil and the appearance of Jennifer Lopez to promote the deal. That was rather shocking to see.

Neither is Consumer Frustration

Of course, we’re also not surprised to see an enormous amount of frustration coming from consumers who were either sure of or hoping that Verizon would announce the HTC One.

The HTC One is a high quality phone and Verizon’s network is a high quality network, boasting 497 4G LTE networks around the United States, fantastic customer service, and the ability to keep unlimited data for the full price of the phone.

In addition, this is a charade that has been going on for months. From leaks, to speculation, consumers in the market for a new smartphone have unfortunately been tortured by the prospects of this phone. So it’s not surprising to see some consumers finally abandoning ship with the Galaxy S4 hitting shelves tomorrow and the prospects of the HTC One murkier than ever.

There is Hope

This HTC One case from Otterbox features a built-in screen protector.

There is hope for a Verizon HTC One, but time is running out.

Despite the lack of an announcement, there still is some hope. @LLabTooFeR, a noted HTC insider, has suggested that it will be coming in the near future, He was unable to confirm the CTIA launch date, a sign that Verizon may still have something up its sleeve. Remember, it probably didn’t want to trump this big partnership with Viva Movil with an HTC One announcement.

Also helping is that the original AllThingsD report that started this madness, a report that claimed it would be out one to two months after the other devices, still is relevant. The devices arrived at the end of April which means that we could still see an arrival sometime in June.

So while things don’t look good, keep in mind, Verizon could announce this phone at any time. This is a carrier that had no problem launching the Samsung Galaxy S4 a month after its competitors, after all.

Longer It’s Missing, Bleaker It Gets

The longer it’s missing though, the bleaker everything gets. Not only are there plentiful options on the market already, but there are a number of big name devices that are likely on the way including the iPhone 5S, HTC One Nexus from Google and the T-Mobile Sony Xperia Z. Not to mention the Samsung Galaxy S4 Nexus that is hitting Google Play on June 26th.

The HTC Butterfly 2 is also rumored for a third quarter arrival rather than a fourth quarter launch like its predecessor, the HTC Butterfly, the basis for Verizon’s Droid DNA.

As we’ve said all along, it could be that Verizon is simply going to wait for that device to arrive to replace the Droid DNA rather than opting for an HTC One that is, in just a few weeks, going to be two months old.

The Galaxy S4 Nexus is coming. An HTC One Nexus might be as well.

The Galaxy S4 Nexus is coming. An HTC One Nexus might be as well.

Indeed, demand will remain relatively high for this phone but with May 22nd coming and going, new phones on the horizon and now, extremely frustrated customers, it’s starting to feel like now or never for the Verizon HTC One.

Remember, even though it released the Galaxy S4 late, it still announced the phone at the same time as its competitors.

Some Predictions

So where do we go from here? At this point, it’s impossible to say. Either HTC Verizon are doing a standup job of keeping this device under wraps or there is no HTC One at all. That’s where we’re at. At this point, we’re starting to lean toward the latter, given that we haven’t seen any leaks or even an announcement.

While we can’t say for sure, if we don’t see movement in the next two to three weeks, smart money would be on Verizon skipping the HTC One and instead, resting its laurels on the Butterfly 2 later this year.