HTC crashes Samsung's Galaxy S4 event
HTC's flagship HTC One smartphone makes a special appearance at Samsung's Galaxy S4 Unpacked party
Last night may have been all about Samsung's Galaxy S4, but HTC had its own special moment in the spotlight when it boldly (and rather smartly) crashed its rival's big Unpacked bash. The Taiwanese smartphone maker sent out some of its team members to basically woo the folks standing out in the cold waiting for Samsung's event to kick off. HTC lured 'em in with snacks and hot cocoa and, of course, a little demo of the brand new HTC One device.
"For us it's a good opportunity to let people compare real-time," HTC President Jason Mackenzie told AllThingsD in an interview. "We have the best smartphone in the world right now and we want to seize the opportunity to get it into as many hands as possible." On top of that, the rival Android-based handset maker handed out $100 discounts on the HTC One (applicable with a phone trade-in).
It was certainly a smart and inexpensive way for HTC to do a little hands-on marketing, and will likely prove more effective than LG's whole photo-bombing stunt (the company had a billboard positioned just above Samsung's Times Square sign). And it was undoubtedly a more positive approach than Apple's Phil Schiller flat out criticizing the Galaxy S4 just ahead of its launch. Then again, HTC did a little smartphone slamming of its own via social networking when it poked fun at Samsung's presentation (to be fair, the whole thing was just really, really weird -- you can check it out for yourself here).
Bizarre stage productions aside, Samsung's Galaxy S4 ended up being much of what we expected. From a visual standpoint, it looks a lot like its Galaxy S3 predecessor with a sleek, plastic body. The display comes in at roughly five inches -- enormous by smartphone standards, but not at all shocking by Samsung standards. It also sports the company's TouchWiz technology and runs on Google's most current version of its Android Jelly Bean OS (which is a total bummer, given that Key Lime Pie is rumored to launch as soon as May during Google's I/O developer's conference).
Samsung's Galaxy S4 will be available on all four major carriers sometime in April; no specific dates or prices have been announced yet. Currently, HTC's One is available through Sprint, T-Mobile and AT&T -- but we recently heard it could soon make its way to Verizon too.