Do bold color options mean anything when selection is limited by US carriers?

Summary:Like many people, I saw the bold colors on the Lumia 920, HTC 8X, and HTC 8S and started picking which one I would buy when launched. The problem is consumers really don't have many choices due to carrier limitations in the US.

Do bold color options mean anything when selection is limited by US carriers?

I am often jealous of my pals over in the UK (low data rates, superb device selection, early device release) and with the upcoming release of Windows Phone 8 devices that jealously is running rampant through my veins. You may recall that Nokia revealed that the high end Lumia 920 was coming in yellow, red, cyan, black, white, and gray while HTC showed off their HTC 8X in a neon yellow, purple blue, black, and red. I was all set to consider a yellow Nokia Lumia 920 or neon yellow HTC 8X, but it looks like carrier device exclusivity and carrier color selections will limit your options here in the US.

We all know about the annoying AT&T exclusivity with the Nokia Lumia 920, but at least we hear they will be offering the 920 in all five of the six colors; red, black, white, yellow, and cyan. Thus, if you want one of these 920 devices you need to get on AT&T, but at least you can pick your color. Indications are that all of these will also come with 32GB of internal storage.

On the other hand, we see extremely limited options with the HTC 8X. At least the 8X is being offered on the three WP8 carriers, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon. T-Mobile confirmed they are only getting the California Blue (its a blue/purple color) model in 16GB while the Best Buy AT&T preorder page show the 8X in California Blue and neon yellow. The problem is the neon yellow one is shown only in an 8GB internal storage model and without any expansion capability this limits the apps and media you can put on the device so it knocks it out of my consideration. I understand that HTC saves you $50 by going with 8GB, but I would rather pay the $50 to get the color device I want. Maybe it's just me, but saving $50 on a couple thousand dollor contract means nothing.

Nokia and HTC are releasing their mid-level Lumia 8xx series and HTC 8S on carriers too, but we don't have all the details on available color options.

The great thing for me personally is that I am LOVING the Nokia Lumia 920 (first impressions article coming tomorrow)  and will buy an upgrade to my 900 for use on AT&T. I now need to figure out if I go for glossy yellow, red, or white or decide to go with the matte finish black or cyan model. I'm leaning towards glossy yellow, but cyan looks great too.

People outside the US will likely have the ability to buy both of these devices in any color they like and use it on any carrier they like. We are restricted by our wireless technology and carrier color selections. I understand carriers don't want a ton of inventory left that isn't purchased, but am still bummed that the choice of device and color of that device is not up to the consumer.

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Topics: Mobility, HTC, Nokia, Smartphones

About

Matthew Miller started using a mobile devices in 1997 and has been writing news, reviews, and opinion pieces ever since. He is a co-host with GigaOM's Kevin Tofel on the MobileTechRoundup podcast and an author of three Wiley Companion series books. Matthew started using mobile devices with a US Robotics Pilot 1000 and has owned over 200 d... Full Bio

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