There has been no worst kept secret in mobile tech than whether the HTC One would launch on the Verizon network. Big Red has finally let the cat out of the bag, announcing on Twitter Monday that the smartphone will be available later this summer.
â€” Verizon Wireless (@VZWnews) June 3, 2013
Several previous statements from Verizon appear to have been aimed at keeping hushed its plans for the HTC One, which is produced by Taiwanese smartphone maker HTC Corp. (2498.TW).
“When we announce our next product with Verizon, we'll make a big deal about it so you're all aware,” said Tom Harlin, public relations chief for HTC North America, in a recent statement.
Verizon's network, however, hasn't ramped into overdrive with promotional campaigns for the new HTC One. Indeed, many details remain unknown about Verizon's variant of the smartphone, including price, internal storage capacity and exact release date.
Verizon HTC One: Release Date
Although the official start of summer is just several weeks away, the specific release date for the Verizon HTC One remains unclear. The guys over at Android recently announced the HTC One “Google Edition” after blatant denial from HTC; the device will release on the Google Play store on June 26. We at least propose that the Google Edition and the Verizon variant won’t release at the same time; however, nothing's been confirmed.
Verizon has a reputation for deferring the release of its devices until well after other carriers have acquired them, and the company has waited especially long to release the HTC One, which initially launched on Sprint, AT&T and T-Mobile in March. In contrast, the rival Samsung Galaxy S4 notably released on other networks in late April and debuted on Big Red just one month later. Perhaps Verizon has some special plans for the HTC One, so let’s consider this scenario further.
Verizon HTC One: Operating System
Many have found it odd that HTC decided to release its 2013 flagship smartphone with an operating system that wasn’t the most current on the market. The HTC One runs Android 4.1.2 natively, even though Android 4.2.2 is available. Enthusiasts have been anxious to see system updates for the HTC One and have the device ship with Android 4.2.2. The recently announced HTC One Google Edition won't only run stock Android, but it will also be the most recent version 4.2.2, showing that the device is capable of powering the operating system. As the Google Edition will be compatible only with GSM networks, that device will be heading to AT&T and T-Mobile; fans are especially looking forward to see how CDMA networks like Verizon and Sprint handle possible Android 4.2.2 updates.
A HTC Russia executive shared via Twitter on Monday that Android 4.2.2 will begin rolling out on the HTC One through over-the-air updates starting in mid-June. Photo and video leaks of the HTC One Android 4.2.2 have surfaced in recent days, showing that the update will bring a number of new features to the smartphone, including a percentage battery icon, a more customizable app drawer and dock, pressing the home button for menu access, extended quick settings and Android Daydream.
Verizon HTC One: Price and Internal Memory
The HTC One has a massive ROM capacity with 32GB and 64GB options. Currently, the standard is the 32GB variant, which sells for $199 with a two-year contract and $599 off-contract, while the 64GB variant sells for $299 with a two-year contract and $650 off-contract. The 64GB variant is exclusive to AT&T so many don’t expect to see it on Verizon; however, the developer’s version of the HTC One, which sells in a 64GB option, is compatible with both GSM and CDMA carriers, which means the device should be able to run on Verizon’s network.
Verizon sells other flagship smartphones such as the Samsung Galaxy S4 at $199 after a $50 rebate, making the price paid upfront $249. It's uncertain but possible that the carrier could price the HTC One similarly as a device still fairly new on the market.
Are you excited to hear that the HTC One is coming to the Verizon network? Let us know in the comments below.
Fionna Agomuoh is a Technology Reporter for the International Business Times, a vegan foodie, and a lover of Electric Dance Music.