There used to be a time when a company would announce a new product, and that product would be available to purchase roughly around the time of the announcement. In the every increasingly visceral pace of tech advancement, now we hold previews to announcements, and once a gadget is announced it can take weeks or months before it’s actually available to consumers.
With the unveiling of the M8 yesterday, HTC launched an agressive campaign to make the phone available to consumers. Critical timing as Samsung has already taken the wraps off of the Galaxy S5, but hasn’t yet started shipping it.
Working with AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon, HTC is already selling and shipping the phones through carrier websites. Those signing up on Big Red can walk into select stores and see the phone in person. How refreshing. Announcing a product which is actually ready to ship.
It’s a make or break moment for HTC. The M7 was critically acclaimed and often voted the best Android phone of 2013, but the company struggled with minor manufacturing delays. The launch of the original One had a very slow start. Critical time lost as potential customers had a bevvy of LG’s and Samsungs to look at while shopping. A few small missteps can absolutely crush a phone’s momentum.
HTC is looking to improve upon the mistakes of the last generation. Time will tell if this maneuvering will help elevate sales. A solid flagship device is mandatory, but the company still needs to address their entry level and phablet phone strategies. Focusing on a smaller number of phones to support is a benefit, but they’re completely absent from every other market like tablets and hybrids.
Also suspiciously absent from yesterday’s event was any mention of a wearable or smartwatch. Early rumors pointed to a multi-device strategy like Samsung and a potential partnership with Qualcomm and their Toq platform. In light of Android Wear and the Moto 360, it might not be a bad move to reassess, but hopefully they can bring a product to market soon, else they have to play catch up in this arena too.