Mobile
Commentary
3/23/2010
04:20 PM
Eric Ogren
Eric Ogren
Commentary
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HTC Opens Online Store To Sell Its Goods

In what looks to be direct competition with Google, HTC has opened up a new online store in the U.S. What's for sale? Why its phones, of course. Too bad they all come with a contract attached.

In what looks to be direct competition with Google, HTC has opened up a new online store in the U.S. What's for sale? Why its phones, of course. Too bad they all come with a contract attached.The new online store from HTC offers a select few devices from the company's line of phones, including Windows Mobile and Android devices. All of the devices are offered at reasonable prices (some are even free!), but that's because they are subsidized and require a carrier contract.

For example, the HTC Pure is free -- with an AT&T contract. I can't believe that HTC and T-Mobile have the gall to sell the G1 (the very first Android phone) for $50 on contract. That phone is ancient Android history and completely outmatched by newer models. It doesn't appear that the phones can be purchased at full retail price, unlocked (i.e., free of carrier contract). That's unfortunate. I'd love to see if HTC could one-up Google in the direct-to-consumer sales model.

"As HTC continues to grow its brand and customer base, we believe it is important to have one place for our customers to find the very best devices, plans and accessories to match their lifestyle and needs. Personal choice guides our products, and it is also what we are looking to bring to the online shopping experience that we are announcing today," said Jason Mackenzie, vice president of HTC America. "We realize that there is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to smartphones and service plans, which is why HTC is committed to delivering an experience that makes it easy to find the right solution for individual needs."

If you feel like going straight to the source, check out www.shopamerica.htc.com.

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