HTC Today announced that they have released the source code to their HTC Droid DNA on Verizon (also known as the Butterfly J in the rest of the world) as well as their still unreleased HTC One phone. This release of the source code to the HTC Developer website is a continuation of their commitment to release source code for their phones as well as unlocking capabilities for devices. Admittedly, they haven’t necessarily been making these available as fast as everyone would like, but they also have to appease the carriers.
With the release of the source code for the Droid DNA and One, there should be an improved effort on the release of custom ROMs. Furthermore, with the HTC One not even being out yet, there’s a good chance we could see some quality HTC One custom ROMs on XDA-Developers before the phone even comes out. This creates added value to many people looking to buy an Android phone because lots of people still like running custom ROMs. Not everyone will necessarily be satisfied with HTC’s latest version of their Sense UI.
However, all of this is essentially a mum point if HTC simply cannot release the phone. The current ETA for the One is April 19th on T-Mobile, AT&T and Sprint. However, HTC has also made available unlocked versions of their One phone in the 32GB capacity and silver model, which has sold out. The Developer Edition of the HTC One, which has both an unlocked bootloader and is unlocked for different carriers is also sold out. The nice thing about the Developer Edition, which I have purchased myself, is that it sells for the same price as the carrier versions, but with 64GB of capacity instead of 32GB. This is a big deal when you consider this is a 1080P phone with no memory card slot.
The problem with the release is that they have already delayed it once due to supply issues and we have spoken to some retailers who question the availability of this phone on the 19th. What’s frustrating is that I pre-ordered the HTC One Developer Edition on April 5th, they day that all of the phones went on sale. At that time, the day it was to be available was April 19th. So, I purchased it and it was confirmed and ‘ready to ship’ in my order status. Now, today, after reading some people’s tweets about today’s bootloader announcement, I went to check my order status. Now, it states that the device is on backorder and that it will only be ‘available’ on the 20th. Now, if you try to preorder an HTC One Developer Edition, their site says April 24th, further adding to the confusion and frustration. We have contacted HTC regarding the issue, but this does not appear to bode well for the HTC One’s release date.
If HTC suffers any more delays with the HTC One, they will lose their opportunity to win the hearts and minds of consumers before the Galaxy S IV launches. The real truth of the matter is that Samsung will not have supply issues with these phones and they will be able to put as many Galaxy S IV phones in people’s hands as is necessary. Many people ended up buying Galaxy S III’s simply because they didn’t want to wait for the iPhone 5. We could see a similar cannibalization of HTC’s sales if they do not act quickly. Additionally, their marketing efforts have been absolutely pitiful, I’m not sure if they’ve been holding off until they have a concrete availability date or what, but if they are not going to market this phone, it will not sell.
The HTC One could possibly be HTC’s best phone ever and maybe even the best Android phone ever, but if they don’t market it correctly, it’ll end up losing to the Galaxy S IV like the One X did.