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U.S. pre-orders for HTC One phone hit 'several hundred thousand'

2013/03/26 11:35:48

Taipei, March 26 (CNA) HTC Corp.'s new HTC One flagship smartphone has generated strong consumer interest in the United States despite a delayed retail launch date, with "several hundred thousand" orders received to date, a company executive said recently.

In an e-mail sent last week to U.S. customers who have pre-registered to purchase the phone through an upgrade promotion program, Jason Mackenzie, HTC president for global sales and marketing, said the early response to the phone has been "fantastic."

"We are seeing our strongest initial response for any smartphone we've ever designed with several hundred thousand people in the U.S. pre-registering to purchase the new HTC One," Mackenzie wrote in the message, confirmed by HTC on Monday.

The Taiwan-based manufacturer has "reinvented the entire process of smartphone production," and each new HTC One requires a total of 220 minutes, or nearly four hours, to create, Mackenzie said.

The HTC executive apologized for the delayed availability of the new phone in the U.S. but noted that the company was now manufacturing the new HTC One and arranging delivery dates with its U.S. carrier and retail partners.

"When we originally announced the new HTC One, we communicated a March availability date but we unfortunately will not meet this date in the U.S.," he said.

"We apologize for this delay and are confident that you will find that the new HTC One will be well worth the wait."

On March 24, HTC said in a statement that it will begin sales of its newest flagship phone in the United Kingdom, Germany and Taiwan this week and in the rest of Europe, North America and most of the Asia-Pacific region before the end of April.

Ben Ho, chief marketing officer of HTC, told a media briefing on Monday that HTC hopes to fill all of its pre-orders for the HTC One in Taiwan before the end of April, but he did not reveal how many advance orders have been received in HTC's home market.

The latest version of the HTC One, which the smartphone maker is banking on to revive flagging market share, will be available to Taiwanese distributors on March 26, Ho said.

Local consumers who have pre-registered to buy the phone can begin getting hold of the new device on March 27, he added.

Ho expected production of the HTC One to increase in the coming months following slow starts for some of the phone's tailor-made components, such as its camera lens and aluminum metal casing.

(By Jeffrey Wu)