HTC US President Jason Mackenzie publishes open letter about the HTC One KitKat update

KitKat 1

Remember how HTC promised back in November that the HTC One would be updated to Android 4.4 KitKat by the end of January? Well, we know that KitKat is almost here, but according to the latest from HTC US president Jason Mackenzie, it looks like HTC will miss its self-imposed deadline by a couple weeks.

Mackenzie wrote a very long letter explaining why, which appears in full below. I appreciate the honesty and transparency, and a couple weeks isn’t that much more (we’ve already waited this long, right?). But on the other hand, HTC is also calling attention to a pain point that almost every Android enthusiast endures: delayed updates. Sigh.

Team HTC One,

We’ve always been inspired by our customers, and because of our legacy as a pioneer of smartphones, we are fortunate to have the most technology-savvy, discerning, and passionate customers in the industry. While we continue to be a leader in Android innovation and having done ‘ok’ with software updates, we recognize that ‘ok’ is not good enough.

Starting with Android 4.3 (Jelly Bean) last year, we set out to be a leader in delivering the latest software and were successful in quickly rolling out Jelly Bean for the HTC One. With the release of Android 4.4 (KitKat), we embarked on a mission to push KitKat to our HTC One customers across the US and Canada within 90 days of Google’s official release of the software.

Additionally, we felt it was important to be as transparent with you as possible, which is why we launched the Software Update page to let you know how the process works, and to keep you up-to-date with our progress.  We’re excited by the conversation this has generated in the HTC community.

As we approach the 90-day mark, we are getting closer to delivering KitKat and the finish line is becoming more clear.  We are currently in the certification phase across all of our carrier partners in North America, and they share our enthusiasm for getting this software in your hands.  That said, the software development process does not always follow a linear path and we know today that we will miss our self-imposed target.  The good news is that we won’t miss by much as, it shouldn’t be more than one to two weeks to complete each of the carrier versions of the HTC One.

The challenge we gave our teams, in cooperation with our carrier partners, has taught us a lot that will allow us to improve on our upgrade delivery in the future.  We remain resolved to provide timely updates and to be transparent about the process and status of our efforts.  Supporting our customers is a major priority for us and we thank you for your support of HTC!

Jason Mackenzie
President, HTC Americas

Go Seahawks!

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John F

John was the editor-in-chief at Pocketables. His articles generally focus on all things Google, including Chrome and Android, although his love of new gadgets and technology doesn't stop there. His current arsenal includes the Nexus 6 by Motorola, the 2013 Nexus 7 by ASUS, the Nexus 9 by HTC, the LG G Watch, and the Chromebook Pixel, among others.

5 thoughts on “HTC US President Jason Mackenzie publishes open letter about the HTC One KitKat update

  • January 29, 2014 at 3:22 pm

    Wow. You guys got this story out fast. I was just about to tip it. Well done.

    I’m really glad for HTC’s continued transparency on these updates. It beats just hoping and wondering when an update will roll out. It looks like the US carriers should start rolling out the updates by early to mid February. I can’t complain.

  • January 29, 2014 at 9:27 pm

    Jason had me all up until the “Go Seahawks” Fail.


    Patiently waiting and hopefully they address the rest of the Sprint HTC One idiosyncrasies. I’ll be prepared to mash that update button multiple times…like the rest of you…

  • January 30, 2014 at 9:32 am

    The way that the technology of all these phones is accelerating, I cannot see the problem with HTC taking just a bit more time, if only to iron out the bugs in the update. I have owned my HTC One phone since October of 2013 and have updated it to 4.3 without so much as one problem. And now, only 3-4 months later, I will be getting the latest and greatest of Android 4.4. I pray that the upgrade is flawless in transition as it was from 4.2 to 4.3.
    OK….So the company is missing their projection time by a couple of weeks….I need a couple of years to fully utilize all of my phone’s features and capabilities….lol.

  • January 30, 2014 at 9:39 am

    Well, Mr. Mackenzie, a few words about the non-updates to the ONE X would have been nice. Or is that also marketing’s fault?

  • January 31, 2014 at 9:31 am

    I haven’t rooted my HTC One (T-Mo) and felt the last upgrade went so smoothly that waiting a bit longer isn’t an issue. I enjoy the stock Sense camera and gallery and wouldn’t want to lose those by going CM 11, etc.


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