Want to [Best Buy] a HTC Flyer?
The press release announced an exclusive sales agreement, but did not mention the length of the terms of exclusivity. In the release, the relationship is stated as a “national retail launch exclusive,” which implies that after the launch of the Flyer, it will be available at other stores.
The exclusive arrangement will allow for a tighter inventory control while incentivizing a strong marketing campaign by Best Buy.
Best Buy begins promoting the Flyer on BestBuy.com
Starting on March 22, if you do a search for HTC Flyer on Best Buy, you will see a banner ad promoting the Flyer. If you click through the link, you get taken to a landing page that boasts “Get it first only at Best Buy.”
The slated springtime launch is a problem for HTC
The press release (re-printed after the break) declares that the Flyer is slated to be launched this spring.
This delay could be problematic for the Flyer, as competitors are coming out with dual-core, faster, thinner tablets running Android 3.0, while the Flyer is single-core running Android 2.2.
The longer the launch is delayed, HTC will need to:
- cut prices to make the Flyer competitive;
- promote more aggressively HTC Scribe, its unique stylus-optimized layer on top of Android;
- be more transparent with how long it will be until the Flyer will be running Android 3.0 Honeycomb, and how that upgrade process will work.
By having the launch of the Flyer put off until after the iPad 2, HTC has given time for the competitors to preview next-generations of their offerings, such as the Galaxy Tab 8.9 and 10.1. Since the Flyer is not yet launched, HTC cannot reveal the Flyer’s second generation, for fear of cannibalizing the sales of the first-generation Flyer.
One thing is clear: how HTC handles the Flyer launch will largely impact the product line’s success.
Press Release: Best Buy® and HTC Announce Exclusive Launch of the Wi-Fi HTC Flyer Tablet at CTIA Wireless 2011
Wi-Fi HTC Flyer slated to launch this spring
ORLANDO, Fla., March 22, 2011 – Best Buy and HTC today announced the exclusive launch of the highly-anticipated Wi-Fi only version of the HTC Flyer™ tablet. All Best Buy and Best Buy Mobile standalone stores, as well as BestBuy.com, will have the tablet when it launches this spring.
The HTC Flyer is a fast, portable, light-weight tablet that integrates the immersive and highly intuitive HTC Sense™experience and enables content including videos, music, games and more to be easily accessed and enjoyed. For those attending CTIA, Best Buy and HTC will have devices on-hand at Pepcom’s Mobile Focus event on Tuesday, March 22 at 7:00 p.m. ET.
“Over the past few months we’ve seen several new tablets enter the market, and we’re especially excited to partner with HTC to bring the Wi-Fi version of the HTC Flyer to our customers as a national retail launch exclusive,” said Scott Anderson, head of merchandising for Best Buy Mobile. “We have worked hard to bring a large assortment of great tablets to Best Buy and Best Buy Mobile stores, and the HTC Flyer is a great example of that effort.”
The HTC Flyer features a strong aluminum unibody case that is lighter than an average paperback book. Truly separating the HTC Flyer from the pack is the integration of the acclaimed HTC Sense experience and unique HTC Scribe technology. The new HTC Sense experience offers an interface rethought for the tablet format which allows users to easily scroll and locate photos, entertainment, weather, calendar and mail. An optional HTC Scribe™ digital pen unlocks HTC Scribe technology, which enables the ability to capture and annotate any on-screen content with notes and drawings. Also, with Timemark, handwritten notes taken with the digital pen are synchronized with audio, as well as the popular Evernote™ application, turning handwritten notes into true meeting minutes. Additionally, with front and rear cameras, people can also make live video calls using a variety of available video chat applications available in the Android Market.
”Best Buy offers a number of the hottest products on the market, including the all-new 4G LTE HTC ThunderBolt™and now the Wi-Fi version of the groundbreaking HTC Flyer, which brings the acclaimed HTC Sense experience to a tablet for the first time,” said Jason Mackenzie, president of HTC Americas. “Like all HTC Sense products, the HTC Flyer was inspired by our customers, and offers the most simple and natural experience available on a tablet.”
Other key features of the HTC Flyer include:
- Integration/compatibility with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth® 3.0
- 7″ 1024×600 display with multi-touch capability and an optional digital pen that enables users to take synchronized notes and annotate content
- Built-in dual microphones for noise reduction
- Android™operating system
- Adobe® Flash® 10.1 support
- 5 MP Color CMOS camera with auto focus
- 1.3MP front camera for video chatting
- 16GB eMMC memory plus microSD card slot
- 4,000 mAh battery
Best Buy Mobile offers an array of services aimed at improving customers’ experience, including Walk Out Working, Geek Squad Black Tie Protection, Buy Back and a full array of accessories for customers to protect and personalize their devices.