What happened to the HTC Merge?

Let's face it, folks: The prospects of the HTC Merge seeing the light of day before 2011 are next to nil. It just ain't gonna happen. And that's a darn shame, because a lot of you -- and us -- were looking forward to Verizon getting its own version of the G2.

We got a good look at it way back at the beginning of October (see our hands-on and video preview), but aside from the odd advertising appearance, Best Buy mention and random accessory spotting, we've seen little indication that it's been scheduled for release.

So what happened to the Merge? Current scuttlebutt is that it was caught in a strange time for release. The Droid 2 (and Droid 2 Global) is still pretty new. LTE was about to be announced. Did we really need another non-4G slider keyboard? Toss in the firestorm over the G2 locking out hackers, plus Bing being on the Merge, and the strikes were mounting.

Will it return in 2011 with an LTE radio? Will Bing still be on board? Tough to say at this point, with the prospect of dual-core processors and new versions of Android on the horizon. Tis a shame, really. The Merge may have died before its time.

Phil Nickinson
  • After watching the highlights of the Andy Rubin interview at D: Dive Into Mobile, he said the carriers called them to ask how to get the crap off their phones. Maybe they decided that people don't want Bing on their phones so they just decided to redo it all. 4G LTE, no Bing, and Gingerbread would be the best excuse for this delay.
  • The LTE I could live with or without, Bing isn't too big an issue for me, having had a Fascinate for a bit, I got rid of it due to issues not related to Bing. If this phone does magically become LTE enabled, De-Binged, and put at a Droid level profile, I might consider it as soon as Cyanogen becomes available for it, I'm due for an upgrade on our account and I'm holding out for an LTE device with a full QWERTY.
  • The carriers called Google to ask how to get their own crapware off the devices?
  • I don't understand. You mean they called to get Google's apps and such off, or manufacturers' skins? I would love to start seeing some more stock Android phones now that the UI is so much more refined.
  • The delay, or whatever you'd call it, is really a disappointment for me. This was the one phone that I was going to make my jump to from my BlackBerry. I really wanted a slider, and I like it much better than the D2. Plus, it was the right time for me (contract is up and I'm in the market). Everything seemed really perfect, but ... no phone yet.
  • Could copy and paste this. Exactly my boat.
  • I'm thinking they're adding LTE to it. No point in VZW releasing a slider that is comparable to the G2 minus that little thing called "4G." It's bad and good timing. Release it alongside the Mecha. Choose a 4.3 inch touch or a 3.7 inch QWERTY to take your HTC LTE Android awesomeness.
  • I agree with DolfanCole. I've been waiting for the Merge since October. Verizon's options for sliders - the D2 (really dislike the D2 keyboard) and LG Ally (uh no). That's it. Its really disappointing. I've been sitting on an upgrade since October and my company will pay for a phone. And yet, I'm still here with nothing. I don't care about LTE or bing.
  • Agreed. Been waiting for this since they first received news of it.
    Wanting to get rid of my shitty broken Droid. Why are there so few sliders? Moto sliders have complete shit for keyboards. I want a physical keyboard! :p
    I really hope this gets released soon. And like you, I don't care about LTE or Bing. LTE, I'm not going to pay extra for. And Bing, boo hoo, I'll wait for it to be rooted, which will take all of 12 hours.
    Just release the damn phone already!
  • Or they could just re-program them all for Spring and release it as the Hero 2. I'd jump all over that.
  • For SPRINT I mean... sorry.
  • They pulled our merge accy. from our store. They had sent them to us about a month ago and had our inventory rep send them back. I don't know what's up. I want this phone.
  • It's only the 9th, there could still be time
  • its deff gonna get LTE i mean theres no other reason this beauty of a phone still wouldnt be released
  • Damn. I have an Env3 and I want a new phone. The Droid 2 World is "ok" The Incredible is awesome but 8+months old. The IncredibleHD is "next year" and the Merge looks great. Love the keyboard but also hate Bing. I heard you have to use G mail if you have a Droid 2 World, BOOO Might consider an Incredible and deal with the "keyboard" or lack of.
    VZW is dragging their feet. even stalling on releasing new BlackBerrys. Id like to see them get the Torch.
  • If VZW does get the BB Torch, they better give it's BIS a major supercharger... that puppy is still slow as an old lady with a walker. But as far as the Merge goes, I'm with everyone else on this one... I'm thinking that VZW is giving it the proper radio for LTE.
  • So, according to another site(droidlife), the same guy that leaked this later said that it might still be released this year and is supposed to be the first LTE phone on vzw, with IHD as the second(Releasing Jan 1st.) I'm choosing to believe this because I want the phone so badly. :D