Well it turns out that HTC was out in Times Square just minutes from where Samsung made their presentation of the Galaxy S IV, letting people on the street have a hands-on with the HTC One phone.
I can almost hear what HTC was thinking when they decided to do this presentation on the 14th of March: "We'll do a presentation on a Friday night, let's say the 15th, so we could show-off our handset. Let's do it in New York in the Times Square. Ow, you mean that's the exact time and place Samsung will launch their S4? I had no idea" . I'm "sure" it was all just a coincidence.
The video was published on Youtube yesterday and was also the centepiece in a blog entry on HTC's site.
They didn't add much besides the fact that New Yorkers considered the One "sleek, smooth, and sexy" (which don't really describe much, the first two are synonyms, and how sexy a phone is is not much of a description, but I'm being mean). And they only hinted at Samsung by saying
[…] we brought our roadshow to New York City, giving visitors to Times Square a chance to experience the phone and compare it against the competition. […]Advertisement
Well that, and in the video when one of HTC's guys said at the beginning of the clip "They're announcing the Galaxy 4" (I wonder what he said after that). As opposed as I am of this sort of advertising, I did learn more about the HTC One, like the fact that it's a really loud phone and the front-facing wide-angle camera is actually wide enough to take a picture of a group of 4 people.
This event is also similar to the time LG "accidentally" put-up ads that looked remarkably similar to the billboards that Samsung made for the Galaxy S 4, and also right next to those of Samsung's in Times Square. What were the chances of that happening?
But Samsung is not such a victim here. As far as I know, they practically started with anti-commercials in the smart phone market, attacking Apple in the same indirect way that LG mocked it's commercial and HTC did it's hands-on in the same place.