Verizon HTC One: How Not to Launch a Smartphone

The Verizon HTC One is coming to shelves at some point this summer but unfortunately, consumers don’t know exactly when. Of course, this is just one of the missteps that the Verizon HTC One release has taken on its way to shelves, a release that has been one of the most confusing smartphone launches in recent memory.

In February of this year, HTC announced a brand new flagship smartphone in the HTC One, a device that replaced the HTC One X, HTC EVO 4G LTE and the HTC One X+ on shelves with a host of big time smartphone features.

The Verizon HTC One launch has been one of the most bizarre in recent memory.

The Verizon HTC One launch has been one of the most bizarre in recent memory.

Chief among them, its 4.7-inch 1080p display, quad-core processor, Ultrapixel camera that can capture good low-light photos, a full metal design, 4G LTE data speeds, Android Jelly Bean and of course, the new Sense 5 that comes with sought after features like HTC BlinkFeed and HTC Zoe for photography and video.

Needless to say, it’s one of HTC’s best offerings in years so it’s no wonder why the device landed on more carriers than HTC’s flagships from last year. AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile quickly confirmed the arrival of the HTC One back when it was first launched and all three carriers released the HTC One in April to compete alongside the Samsung Galaxy S4.

However, for many, there has been one carrier looming in the distance for months now, that carrier of course being the nation’s largest 4G LTE service provider, Verizon Wireless.

For months on end, the Verizon HTC One was a mysterious device and for much of the first half of 2013, it wasn’t clear if the rumors would pan out. Just a short time ago though, Verizon announced the HTC One for arrival this summer, though, that hasn’t cleared up all of the details. In fact, the Verizon HTC One remains a mystery, continuing its reign as one of the worst smartphone launches in recent memory.

This is how not to launch a smartphone.

Step #1: Wait to Confirm

The Verizon HTC One was rumored for months before getting official.

The Verizon HTC One was rumored for months before getting official.

Since February, rumors have swirled about the Verizon HTC One. And it wasn’t until just a few short weeks ago that Verizon finally decided to confirm the device’s arrival.

Verizon is a large company and has millions of customers. But as 4G LTE networks of its competitors grow, the carrier needs to ensure that it keeps its current customers happy and on board. It also of course needs to lure in new customers. One way of doing this is by announcing big name smartphones at launch, rather than months down the road.

One way of doing is this is to not lead consumers on a rat race for information. Instead, confirm the smartphone with the other carriers, even if it’s well-ahead of schedule.

In the case of Verizon, the timing of the HTC One launch was important given that HTC ThunderBolt owners were coming off contract. The ThunderBolt was the carrier’s first LTE smartphone and saw a high adoption rate. While many of those consumers were likely frustrated with HTC, giving them, and others, a choice between a device like the HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S4 would have been beneficial.

Verizon likely waited until just before the summer to keep buyers of the Droid DNA happy. There were also supply issues with the HTC One. So if there is anywhere to let Verizon off the hook a bit, it’s here.

Still, the fact that Verizon is releasing this phone at least two months after its competitors is ridiculous.

Step #2: Confirm It Without a Release Date, Pricing

Verizon could have made up for lost time had it simply done something that it very rarely does for big name smartphones. Confirm a specific release date and pricing. Unfortunately, it didn’t do that.

With its brief announcement, the carrier confirmed the HTC One for arrival this summer but did not elaborate on a specific release date or pricing, leaving customers in the dark about the two of the devices most important features.

Customers haven’t taken this lightly either. The HTC and Verizon Twitter, Facebook, customer service lines have been inundated with questions from inquiring minds. Their responses? It’s coming this summer.

It would have been understandable if Verizon announced the HTC One several months ago without a concrete release date. But now that we’re heading deeper into the summer and now that AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile have this phone widely available, the least Verizon could have done was offer some specifics.

It gets worse though.

Step #3: Fail to Confirm Even the Most Basic Information

HTC and Verizon won’t even confirm the specifications of the HTC One. That’s right. When asked about the phone’s specs, and if it was going to be the same phone as the other models, HTC had this to say:

Incredible. So what this means is that the Verizon HTC One doesn’t have any specifications, release date or pricing meaning consumers are essentially close to square one.

Our guess is that Verizon is waiting for HTC to roll out the Android 4.2 Jelly Bean update for the other HTC One models before it confirms anything. Still, that doesn’t excuse the lack of details entirely.

The Verizon HTC One is still going to be a great phone and it will still sell well, but hopefully, Verizon and other carriers take notice of this launch so as to not duplicate it at any point in the future.

Seriously, it’s hard not to feel bad for those that have been waiting nearly six months to buy this phone.