The new HTC One might be the most leaked phone in history. Pics, specs, camera details release date and new features have leaked over the last few months long ahead of its March 25th debut. Even HTC itself got into the action with a series of videos. HTC clearly understands that a big reveal will have little impact on the HTC One’s future.
Companies have long toyed with big press events for devices but they’re a delicate balancing act. Apple seems to have the right formula. They drag the press out to just a couple of big events each year, announce their new wares, and then reveal the pricing and release date. Apple has the right mixture of consumer mindshare and presentation tactics. Most companies do not.
Samsung is still figuring it out. Last year, for the reveal of the Galaxy S4, the company put on a Broadway show complete with singing, complicated stages and an orchestra to explain every new feature found on the phone. This year Samsung went decidedly low-key with the Galaxy S5 reveal, yet the price and release date were missing from the announcement.
HTC is in a tough spot. It needs the next HTC One to succeed. The company is nearly in the red. And the best way to keep using black ink is to maintain a responsible level of hype for its next flagship phone.
Nearly every leak around the next HTC One shows that the phone will be a worthy successor. There doesn’t seem to be anything magical about the phone. And that’s good. The leaks have revealed a similar design to the original with an upgraded camera. The UI is familiar, but updated. It seems nice.
But the leaks work in HTC’s favor. This is free marketing for HTC and free is good. Consumers generally do not rush out to buy an Android phone the day it’s released. The upgrade cycle is not as rigid as with the iPhone. Purchases are carefully weighed and measured against competitors’ devices.
Apple needs the big pop to convert current iPhone owners to buy the next iPhone. HTC’s customer likely has a device from a different maker who HTC hopes will buy the next One sometime in the coming months. HTC doesn’t need a star-studded dog and pony show to sell phones. It needs educated consumers who simply have heard about the next HTC One, and for that you spread the news through word of mouth and not spend not millions on an all-singing-all-dancing tech launch.