As the next wave of epic superphones comes closer to their launch dates, the inevitable pre-order period has arrived. For the HTC One, it seems like just about ever carrier has their own extra benefit to pre-ordering. If you’re looking to grab one on T-Mobile, however, shopping from HTC directly isn’t the best plan.
The emergence of T-Mobile’s UNcarrier plans sent shockwaves through the mobile ecosystem. Finally, consumers have access to contract-free plans that are set at affordable yet competitive rates, even going so far as to include tiers for unlimited data. Having great plans is a good way to get attention, but most Americans will still look at you like you have six heads if you ask them to pony up $ 650 for a new phone at the start of service. We’re used to subsidized phones, so T-Mobile released a subsidy system that beat the other carriers at their own game. Brand new phones — including Apple’s iPhone 5, Samsung’s Galaxy S4, and the HTC One — are available for $ 99 with a two-year agreement.
Coming in at half the price of the competition for some of the best-selling phones of the year is great, but with multi-carrier phones like the One and the Galaxy S4 it still doesn’t hurt to offer a pre-order treat. To HTC’s credit, there’s a ton of official accessories available with the phone at launch, and AT&T and T-Mobile are each offering something different with their pre-order. If you get the phone from T-Mobile, you get this really nice car mount for the phone. Given the average cost of a nice car dock it’s a pretty sweet deal to get the phone for $ 99 and get a nice car dock for choosing T-Mobile. Unfortunately, HTC didn’t get the memo about T-Mobile’s pricing and pre-orders.
Shortly after the announcement of the HTC One, there was a website that allowed users to set themselves up for a notification when the phone became available. Alongside this was a $ 100 promo trade-in plan from HTC. Now that the time has come, HTC is offering a free case to those who pre-order the One, and while also allowing customers to choose who they want to pre-orde form. People who choose T-Mobile not only lose the free car dock but the phone is now $ 200. (If you participate in HTC’s trade-in program, you get $ 100 back for the phone you have given them, but you’re still giving up a car dock for a case.)
HTC is treating the T-Mobile pre-order the same way it treats the others on their website. Any way you cut it, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to charge more than your partner for the same phone. HTC doesn’t mention T-Mobile’s pricing plan for the phone on their pre-order page, nor does HTC explain T-Mobile’s no-contract setup. HTC should be working closely with their retail partners instead of competing with them.
The One needs to be a success for HTC, and while there’s still plenty of reason to be excited about the 2013 flagship, the company needs to aggressively promote every advantage it has over the Samsung Galaxy S4. Once both phones are out, Samsung’s brand recognition will be difficult to compete with. Right now is the best time to gain attention for themselves, and this isn’t helping.
Now read: HTC One to be available April 19