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					A    s 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
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-Mobilenot 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.

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