Windows Phone 8 launch in India has been, to be honest, a disaster. Let’s do a recap: HTC announced Windows Phone 8 devices HTC 8X and 8S for Indian market with pricing in November and followed up with availability info stating that devices will be available in “Early November“. Early November is long gone and HTC has done a horrible job with the launch of these devices. Before we dive into some of HTC’s mistakes, let’s talk about availability.
HTC 8X is available on Flipkart now, after weeks of “Pre order” -> Coming Soon -> Out of Stock fluctuations, for Rs 35,042 with delivery in 6-8 days. 8X is only in stock in black color and other colors (specifically blue) wont be in stock till 3rd week of December. Personally, if I were planning on grabbing a 8X – I’d wait for a slightly more colorful 8X.
Saholic is also stocking black HTC 8X for 34,149 Rs and it’s the cheapest option available.
What’s the scene with offline stores? It’s a mess. HTC 8X is extremely hard to find. Some retailers are stocking 8X but do not have a working demo model for consumers. Even some of the HTC retail stores aren’t stocking 8X so you can imagine the scale of their disastrous launch. To top it all, their social media account disappeared for 20 odd days – so in this interval, every single query went unanswered. If there was a way to make their launch any worse, I think we could go back to 2011 when they silently launched HD7 and Mozart and I had to search tons of stores to find one device hidden in a cupboard. It’s pathetic. HTC is an email from HTC support could have fixed this but they prefer to be absolutely ignorant of this situation. making a fool out of itself and it’s consumers. We are stuck with HTC 8X in black (which doesn’t do justice to 8X) and 8S is absolutely nowhere to be found and there is no word on when it will be made available. A single tweet, Facebook post or even a mail from HTC support team could fix this mess but they prefer to remain absolutely silent on this. I wouldn’t call it silence, I’d call it pure ignorance.
This couldn’t get worse for Windows Phone 8 as a platform. Just one WP8 device in market, which itself is hard to find, another announced but is NOT available anywhere after one month of supposed release date and most importantly, no Lumia WP8 in the market. HTC India is repeating the same mistake, they have great devices but they have NO marketing strategy in place. This is exactly what killed HD7 and Mozart in India and I have written about my HTC Mozart initial experience in brief here.
I know it’s a bit aggressive but from what I have seen in the past month and from incredibly frustrated existing HTC consumers: HTC has poor support service, close to nonexistent social media presence and bare minimum interactivity, clueless PR folks and most importantly no marketing strategy for any WP8 device – so let me filter my entire rant in one line – Do not purchase HTC Windows Phone 8 devices until and unless HTC India clears up what the heck is going on – where are the devices? What’s causing the delay? We need answers. Better yet, let’s just not give our hard earned money to HTC, sounds fair, right?
This is bad for Windows Phone 8 in a country where Samsung has completely dominated the market. Microsoft should step up and guide HTC India and most importantly, Nokia should get their Lumia WP8 out in market. Lumia WP8 devices missed Diwali season and are probably going to miss out Christmas – New Year as well from the looks of it. As a Windows Phone 8 potential customer, I am disappointed to see such poor show from OEMs.