The Verizon HTC One launch, if it ever happens, is going to happen late thanks to an HTC One U.S. launch that took place all the way back in April. And while it might launch late, there is still a chance for it to be successful. It’s just not going to be easy.
Back in February, or, a half a year ago, HTC announced the HTC One on stage in New York City. The HTC One represented the company’s flagship offering for 2013 and a device that would replace the HTC One X and HTC One X+ as the face of the company in the United States.
In April, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile launched the HTC One on their 4G LTE networks and the device quickly rose the ranks to become one of the top flight choices on all three thanks to its fantastic hardware, which includes a metal design and Ultrapixel camera, and its software which includes Android and the new Sense 5 along with HTC Zoe and HTC Blinkfeed.
The device is arguably one of the best Android smartphones on the market and is quite possibly one of the best smartphones that has ever come to shelves. HTC isn’t done though.
Yes, there are rumors of a larger HTC One called the HTC One Max, and we’ve seen the HTC One Mini on its way to AT&T, but there is another HTC One that is still unreleased, one that consumers have sought after for months.
That device of course is the oft-rumored, heavily critiqued Verizon HTC One which was rumored for months until it was confirmed in early June for the United States’ largest 4G LTE service provider. At the time, HTC and Verizon offered no details and to this day, the companies remain mum about a release date, pricing, and more.
While many have already turned their backs on this Verizon HTC One, there is still some room for success, despite the late launch. Here, we take a look at five must-haves for the Verizon HTC One at launch.
Release Before September
August 1st and September 5th have both been rumored as possible Verizon HTC One release dates. Whether or not they turn out to be the real deal is unclear, however, Verizon would be extremely wise to get this phone out in the early part of August, at the latest, so the HTC One doesn’t get overshadowed by upcoming releases.
Rumors suggest that Verizon is gearing up to release the Moto X in late August. That, comes in addition to the Droid MAXX, Droid Ultra, and Droid Mini releases that will take place late in the month. And those of course come right before the early September launch dates that are rumored for the iPhone 5S, Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and the HTC One Max, the larger HTC One.
Should Verizon wait too long, the HTC One will get less attractive than it already is. Maybe if Verizon wasn’t likely to carry the new iPhone, Galaxy Note and HTC One, consumers could stay excited about the regular old HTC One. But with so many options on the way, it’s imperative that Verizon makes a move before the start of September so as to preserve whatever little momentum it has left.
Details have been slow to trickle out but if Verizon wants to have any type of success with the HTC One, it can’t wait to release it once the details are revealed. What we mean is that once the device’s details are announced, Verizon would be wise to get it out onto shelves immediately and not utilize a pre-order. It shouldn’t even wait more than a day.
Instead, Verizon should announce the phone and make it available almost instantaneously so that those who have already decided on the phone can buy it quickly and so that those who are on the fence don’t have an extra time to think about their decision. Get this phone out quick, both online and into physical retail locations.
Verizon loves to attach premiums to its big name smartphones. For example, we saw it attach a $300 price tag to the Verizon Galaxy S4 32GB even though it launched the phone weeks later than AT&T. That price lasted just a few days before Verizon did away with the mail-in rebate and offered it for $250 like Ma Bell.
If Verizon comes out of the gate with a 32GB HTC One that costs anything over $199.99, it’s risking failure. At this point, for a phone that has been out since April and has seen its fair share of discounts, including being dropped to free at Amazon at one point, $199.99 seems a little high.
Knowing Verizon, it will likely keep the price at $200 on-contract but it would be wise to drop it to $150 or $99 in order to keep it competitive this late in the game. It would also be throwing those who waited this long for it, without any information, a bit of a bone.
The Verizon HTC One must launch with Android 4.2 Jelly Bean or higher, as is rumored. While AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile have yet to offer their Android 4.2 Jelly Bean updates, the HTC One is on Android 4.2 in other parts in the world. If the device arrived this late, with old software, it would be a slap in the face to customers that waited for it.
Android 4.2 isn’t a big update, but it still has enough on board for it to be attractive to HTC One owners. And buying a phone with outdated software, especially on a phone as late as the Verizon HTC One, would be a tough pill to swallow.
In an ideal world, Android 4.3, Google’s new software update would be on board, but if that were the case, the Verizon HTC One wouldn’t launch until late 2013 or 2014 thanks to Verizon’s extremely slow upgrade process.
Verizon needs to make amends here, though it’s not certain that it will. As we’ve detailed before, this is one of the most poorly handled smartphones launches in recent memory and for many, this two month wait for information has been torture.
The carrier would be smart to offer some type of incentive to buyers whether it’s a free case, accessory or something else right at the start. Carriers often don’t realize that good will like this typically goes a long way with consumers.
If not that, then perhaps incentive in the form of a semi-unique or unique feature. Perhaps a 64GB model, though given AT&T’s stranglehold that seems unlikely, or a faster processor.
The Verizon HTC One buyer needs incentive at this point and hopefully Verizon obliges.