I've noticed something different with the HTC One: people are actually excited about it. I can't say that I've ever seen such a response to an HTC phone in recent years, so that's a good thing. This phone is hitting the scene at a crucial time for HTC, and with people calling it "the best Android phone" in existence right now (or even this year), it could be the saving grace needed to pull the company from its recent slump. It's going to have some stiff competition from Samsung's Galaxy S 4, but considering 61 percent of our readers said they'd take the One over the S4, things are definitely looking up for HTC.
The HTC One page just went live at t-mobile.com, so if you've been lusting after what David called the most important phone of 2013 (read his review to understand the reasoning behind such a bold statement), you can finally secure the Glacial Silver version online. It doesn't look like the Stealth Black variant is up yet if you were looking for one of those, but on the upside T-Mobile is throwing in a free car dock with the purchase. Not a bad deal.
With the new Simple Choice plans, the One will run you $99.99 out of pocket with extra $20/month for 24 months or $579.99 outright.
Even though HTC is now focusing on its new baby (and possible savior) the HTC One, that doesn't mean the company has completely forgotten about the last generation. AT&T's HTC One X+ has just gotten an update to v1.19.502.1. Sadly, this is still Android 4.1.1, but it does fix a few nagging issues.
The full change log is straight to the point. HTC is fixing bugs, and not much else:
- AT&T Address Book Fixes
- Bluetooth fixes
- Wi-Fi fixes
- Other minor bug fixes
One X+ owners can pull the update down manually, or wait for the OTA to show up on its own.
Facebook Home has arrived, and whether we like it or not, it's here to stay. The 2.5/5.0 rating at the close of the day isn't exactly inspiring, but it's likely a knee-jerk reaction from Facebook haters, which I am confident will go up to somewhere in the 3.X range with further improvements. Cameron addressed the current state of Home pretty well earlier today, so now that the dust has settled, it's time for a fun video to finish off the work week, both for Facebook employees who worked on the product and us, its potential (but unlikely) users.
I'll be honest - I haven't liked a launch video this much in a while.
Yep, I'm calling it: the HTC One is the most important smartphone that will be released this year. And I know, this year is far from over - but let me explain why I think it will hold true regardless of what's to come.
Right now, the smartphone industry is slowly but surely evolving into a duopoly. Samsung and Apple control a larger piece of the proverbial pie than ever, as almost every other major Android OEM's market share shrinks - a trend that has continued for nearly two years now. HTC has borne the brunt of this sea-change, something a quick look at the company's financials can tell you in more words than I will here.
HTC needs to get the message out about the One. This probably isn't the best way to go about it.
The 3.5-minute ad on Funny Or Die has some genuine guffaws, but they're buried in awkward pauses, cringe-inducing costumes, and James Van Der Beek's grizzled chin. The Beek has been making a quiet, enjoyable comeback lately (see his meta self-performance on Apartment 23), but this baffling display of wannabe viral marketing can only hurt both his and HTC's image.
It starts off as a fairly standard Bachelorette riff, "The One With James van Der Beek," featuring the requisite cheesy backdrops, improbably hot young lady, and smarmy, charming host.
Those on contract with the Now Network who've had their eye on HTC's latest flagship, the One, should listen up – Newegg is offering pre-orders for the One in both its Stealth Black and Glacial White color variants for $129.99 with next-day shipping.
Of course, Sprint is offering pre-orders of the device to new customers for just $99.99, but the deal excludes upgrades. In case you've forgotten what makes the HTC One worth looking at, here's a quick look at its specs.
There is no joy in Taoyuan this morning, as HTC's first quarter financial results have become public. The Taiwanese company has reported the lowest profit in its 16-year history, with just $2.8 million USD ($85 million Taiwanese dollars) in net income for Q1 2013. It's the sixth quarter in a row that HTC has posted declining profits, and a staggering year-over-year drop of 98%.
The news came from a somber release on HTC's website, without any of the usual fanfare. Analysts reaction compiled by Bloomberg blame the drop on delays for the flagship One phone, which has now been pushed into an April launch in the US and other markets.
As we all know, Facebook had an announcement earlier this week. The most pervasive social media outlet on the planet announced Facebook Home – a product that essentially amounts to a highly integrated launcher for your Android phone. It also announced the HTC First, a phone optimized for Home, offering a fully Facebook-ed experience.
The launcher is actually pretty nice – features like the unfortunately-named Chat Heads are almost enough to sell this writer on the idea of making an Android hamburger out of a phone, with Facebook Home serving as the top bun (or maybe the lettuce). The key to its success, though, will be advertising.