Let’s face it. If ever there were an exercise that allowed us to pick our manufacturer of choice and then decide what specs would go into a bespoke smartphone, then most Android users will plump for HTC for the design and then sit down to discuss the specs.

The Taiwanese manufacturer has made name for itself over the years by making great-looking smartphones with a meticulous attention to detail. The latest flagship, the HTC One is a great example. Its design and the unibody construction have been universally praised, including in our review. And it’s a great device in terms of performance as well thanks to the Snapdragon 600 SoC.

However, despite launching in India early last month with an arrival date of late April, the device is nowhere to be seen now that we are well into May. In stark contrast, the One’s direct competition, the Samsung Galaxy S4 went on sale on April 27, a day after the launch.

The seriously sexy smartphone is playing hard to get

The seriously sexy smartphone is playing hard to get

That’s not to say that the One is not available at all for those who have been wowed by the phone. The HTC flagship is currently available for Rs 51,000 in the grey market – a huge premium over its official price of Rs 42,900. In a way, announcing the price so early on also played into the hands of Samsung, who then knew exactly how much the competition was selling for. The Galaxy S4’s 16GB model launched for Rs 41,500. And when considering that the Galaxy S4 is even available at a discount now, this is an even bigger blow for HTC.

Dealers selling the One at a premium say “official stock” is expected to arrive only next week, a claim that was corroborated by HTC itself. The company told us the stock is expected to arrive in stores by end of this week or latest by next week. However, we could not get an official word on whether the shipments have reached India and are already being distributed to retailers.

To be fair to HTC, the company did say that shipments would be delayed by over a month due to a problem with the supply of camera components. However, when it comes to Samsung, the market leader in smartphone sales, there is little room for error. Samsung has climbed to the top by delivering on the promise of great products. And to compete with the Korean giant, HTC would have had to up its game and change the pattern of delays and mistimed launches. Unfortunately, that has not been the case and once again, what could have been a successful HTC phone is as good as dead on arrival.

All HTC can do is hope that the mostly great reviews for the One and the hype surrounding its many unique features will make shoppers wait a bit longer for the phone, instead of going for the similarly-outfitted Galaxy S4 or Sony Xperia Z. But hope is a fickle ally and HTC would do well to back it up with a quick influx of Ones into the market.

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