HTC has received "several hundred thousand" U.S. pre-orders for its flagship One smartphone, according to an email from a top HTC executive. The news creates a clearer indication of domestic demand for the device that HTC is banking its comeback on. However, the timing of the launch of the device, particularly in the United States, will put the One in direct competition with Samsung Electronics' Galaxy S4.
"We are seeing our strongest initial response for any smartphone we've ever designed with several hundred thousand people in the U.S. pre-registering to purchase the new HTC One," Jason Mackenzie, HTC's president of global sales, wrote in an email to customers, according to Focus Taiwan News Channel. An HTC spokeswoman confirmed to FierceWireless the authenticity of the message.
HTC continues to heavily advertise its new One smartphone.
HTC said last week the One will launch in the United Kingdom, Germany and Taiwan this week and across Europe, North America and most of Asia-Pacific before the end of April. HTC said in February the One would be available globally through more than 185 operators and major retailers in more than 80 regions and countries beginning in March. However, that launch date was pushed back for some markets because of a shortage of components.
Specifically, an HTC executive told the Wall Street Journal that the delay was due to the phone's camera, which is exclusive to HTC. HTC's One camera uses what it calls "UltraPixels," which the company said gather 300 percent more light than traditional smartphone camera sensors. HTC has said this new approach will dramatically improve low-light camera performance.
T-Mobile USA said Tuesday that it will soon begin selling the HTC One. AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T) and Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S) also plan to sell the One in the coming weeks.
To compete head-to-head with Samsung's Galaxy S4, which will also go on sale shortly at Tier 1 U.S. carriers, HTC has said it will be louder in its marketing approach. As a result, the company is discontinuing its "quietly brilliant" marketing tagline. HTC said it will increase its digital marketing budget by 250 percent this year compared with 2012, and will increase its traditional media marketing spending by 100 percent.
- see Focus Taiwan News Channel article
- see this BGR article
- see this The Verge article
- see this WSJ article (sub. req.)
HTC confirms One smartphone launch delay due to component shortages
HTC takes swipes at Samsung's Galaxy S4, unleashes aggressive guerilla marketing
HTC's Mackenzie: We're embracing our role as a challenger to Samsung, Apple
HTC's Mackenzie: We can be a strong No. 3 in smartphones
HTC launches comeback with HTC One, but no Verizon support
Article updated March 28 with confirmation of the Mackenzie message's authenticity.