jason-mackenzie

HTC teamed up with Sprint on Tuesday to announce a new limited edition Harman Kardon version of the HTC One (M8) with an improved audio experience. TechnoBuffalo had a chance to sit down with HTC U.S. president Jason Mackenzie to chat about the new device, sales of the recently introduced HTC One (M8), HTC’s Advantage program and a bit more.

Mackenzie said that sales of the One (M8) are off to a good start so far. He tweeted in early April that HTC was already “very satisfied” with the early reception to the phone, but now the company has a better sense of activation figures.

“Out of the last five weeks of sales data that have crossed my desk, the two most recent weeks are beating the best weeks of One (M7) activations last year,” Mackenzie explained. He noted that there were a couple of weeks in late August where the One (M7) fared better thanks to heavily discounted sales. “Actual activations of the phone, not just shipments, have increased each week since it has been on store shelves,” Mackenzie added. He admitted that HTC needs to keep its marketing momentum going, but said the company also relies heavily on word of mouth passed on from its fans.

Mackenzie touched on the HTC Advantage program, which HTC is going to continue to push as a major option that its competitors don’t offer consumers. “HTC does not currently have plans to deliver the screen replacement program to Europe and other markets, that’s mainly a U.S. effort, but it’s not off of the table,” Mackenzie said. Instead, the HTC Advantage focus abroad is on the guaranteed software updates.

As for the Harman Kardon edition of the One (M8) today? It turns out that was the brainchild of Sprint CEO Dan Hesse. Hesse is apparently a huge audiophile and has admitted, at certain points in his life, to spending more on his home audio equipment than on his car. “Hesse tapped Peter Chou to create a limited edition version of the One (M8) that offered first-class audio capabilities, and then reached out to Harman Kardon to work on the project,” Mackenzie said. Since it’s his baby, the phone is an exclusive to Sprint in the United States. Mackenzie told TechnoBuffalo that there’s some chatter about a European model, too, but nothing is being announced at this time.

Finally, we had a chance to talk about software updates. The standalone Zoe app on the One (M8) is still in development and there isn’t any news on its release date just yet. Mackenzie said that the Extreme Power Saving mode for the AT&T One (M8) release has been approved and is the release is “imminent.” The update has so far only been released for the Sprint model. Meanwhile, Mackenzie said HTC is still on track to push Sense 6 to the One (M7) in May.