The HTC One flagship phone is officially available in the U.S., with two carriers selling the handset on Friday. AT&T and Sprint both have the One in stores while T-Mobile announced web orders now and in-store availability on April 24. Unfortunately for the most passionate HTC One fans who ordered the unlocked developer edition for $649, those orders are now delayed.
I see this as another small mis-step for HTC and it’s not the first as it pertains to the HTC One; a very important phone to help the company turn around a string of slowing sales and revenues. Last month, the company had to push the phone’s launch back due to component shortages. Instead of the phone arriving in mid-to late-March as planned, we’re now past the middle of April. That’s potentially bad as Samsung’s Galaxy S 4 — a competing flagship phone — is due in customer’s hands within the next two weeks.
As far as the developer edition handset, customers were told to expect their phone by April 19, which is today. Instead of receiving the phone, however, those who ordered got an email from HTC saying the units were delayed and should be in hand by the end of the month. Clearly, HTC knew the phones wouldn’t be arriving on time prior to today.
As I’ve always said, “Good news doesn’t get better with age.” It’s a shame that notifications went out on the day the HTC One developer edition was slated for delivery. And making it worse: The people who would pay $649 for an unlocked HTC One with 64 GB of internal storage are likely the most vocal enthusiasts. These folks could have quickly spread the word on how good the HTC One is; something that the company could use since it doesn’t have the marketing budget of a Samsung or an Apple.
If you’re in the mainstream consumer camp and want an HTC One, however, you can still get one today.
AT&T is offering a 32 GB version for $199 with contract ($599 without) or a carrier exclusive 64 GB model for $299 with contract ($649 without). Sprint stores have a 32 GB model for $199 with contract ($549 without) but you can save $100 by porting your number to Sprint from another carrier.
T-Mobile doesn’t have the HTC One in stores yet, but you can order one online today for $99 down and 24 monthly payments of $20 each. In the case of the payment plan T-Mobile drops the $20 monthly hardware charge once the phone is paid off.