Merrill Lynch: HTC One to still launch this month in four markets, the rest will follow in April

March 18, 2013
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It’s not a secret that 2012 has been a lousy year for HTC on the whole, but the launch of the Droid DNA/Butterfly seemed to signal a turn of the tide for the early days of 2013. Then the pretty impressive One was unveiled and there was nothing to stop HTC from going for gold once again.

A true Phoenix rising from the ashes, right? Well, not so fast. Because, as much as HTC has been making the headlines of late, they have done so for all the wrong reasons. Specifically, for a component shortage that threatened to severely push back the launch of the company’s new flagship phone.

And we all know how important it is for HTC to undercut Samsung’s Galaxy S4 release, even by mere days. But can they still do that? According to Merrill Lynch, the wealth management division of Bank America, definitely.

The world’s largest brokerage has reportedly sent out a note to clients last week, confirming what a couple of other sources told us before – that HTC is still going forward with a limited One release in March, delaying the rollout in all markets save for “key” ones for next month.

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The US, UK, Taiwan and Germany are thought to be part of the release’s phase one, meaning that if you reside in one of those countries you should find the attractive new 4.7-incher in stores as soon as next week.

What this report doesn’t clear up is the magnitude of the initial launch in the four countries, so we’re going to keep our cool and assume stocks will be limited. Then again, if HTC does plan to hold a global phase two of the release come April, we can also speculate the UltraPixel issues will be completely behind us by then.

In which case HTC could still have a shot at making the One at least more successful than last year’s One X. Especially that Merrill Lynch analyst Robert Cheng is confident HTC’s management “has learnt its lesson” and will try to make sure there won’t be any quality concerns over the new super-phone once the thing is out.

Do you believe all that? Could HTC contain this problem and make it go away as soon as next month? Or will the One be further delayed for God knows what causes?

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