Update, March 20: HTC Taiwan has confirmed on Facebook that the new One M9 (32GB) will become available from HTC stores on March 21, with carrier availability to begin March 27. No info on the 64GB model. Since this post was originally published, controversy erupted over alleged overheating issues affecting the M9. The release in Taiwan seems to suggest that HTC is confident overheating won’t affect consumers.
Original post, March 16:
HTC delayed the release of the One M9 in Taiwan in order to apply last minute changes to the phone’s software package.
The One M9’s world debut was scheduled for today, but Taiwanese customers who pre-ordered the device were told by text message that the launch would be delayed to March 20, according to a report from Focus Taiwan. That’s for the 32GB model – the 64GB model should be released by the end of the month, according to the text messages.
HTC confirmed that it delayed the release of the M9 in its home market, in order to provide “the latest version of software.” The company has not specified when it plans to start selling the device.
For now, it doesn’t look like this delay will affect the release date of the One M9 in other countries. HTC typically introduces new flagship devices in Taiwan first, with staged rollouts to other countries over the following weeks and months. Given the rather small delay in Taiwan, it’s likely that HTC will be able to iron out any issues in time for the M9’s release in North America and Europe.
A recent leak from retailer B&H Electronics suggests the One M9 would start shipping in the US from March 25, starting from $649 for the 32GB version.
If we were to guess what issues have caused the delay, we’d venture to point towards the camera. The M9’s camera, and in particular its low light performance, was one of the few negative aspects that Josh singled out after spending time with the One M9 ahead of MWC. HTC may also be trying to apply last minute performance improvements, bug fixes, and final tweaks to the M9’s software experience.