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

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

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  • stop living under a rock!

    what do you mean by "LOVING the Nokia Lumia 920"?
    There are so many Android devices, and I'm sure most of them are better than Lumia sans the silly colour.
    LlNUX Geek
    • Android is on borrowed time

      Stealing IP, mining customer PI and opening up clients to Malware. Yeah there's a winning model.
      • Sounds just like Windows

        or Microsoft.
    • Nope they're not

      They haven't got Windows 8 only a varied collection of rapidly obsolete OS versions trapped in a copy of Apple's UI of endless grids of dead icons.

      I have to use an Android phone occasionally and I always wonder how anyone gets anything done with their mess of a UI (no matter which version). Android and Apple phones are a testament to people's perseverance in the face of adversity.

      While I like the specs for the Lumia, it's the HTC for me - easier to slip into a pocket and better in the hand.
    • No

      I have an Android tablet and a Windows phone - my next phone will be the 920. Android just isn't as stable or smooth as WP. Plus I prefer the tile interface.
  • I think hte US needs some carrier reform laws that protect consumers

    1) Require carriers to allow consumers to bring their own devices to the network.
    2) Force carriers to tell consumers up front how much the carrier is paying for device subsidy.
    3) Make carriers allow consumers to purchase any carrier plan with or without subsidy.
    Consumers should be able to cleary contrast the device prices with what the carriers are charging them for them over the life of the plan vs what they can buy them elsewhere for. And consumers should be able to shop and compare plans between carriers without subsidy and without device exclusives.
    Johnny Vegas
    • Re: "Require Carriers... Force Carriers... Make Carriers..."

      I thought you USians held the truth to be self-evident that Government should not tell businesses to operate; that in doing so, they would inevitably get it wrong.
  • Exclusivity matters

    I would think that just by stating that they are "limited" automatically add some kind of value to the devices. The colors are just an adding features. After the phones are no longer the latest things out, the colors will probably stick out like a sore thumb. - iPhone 4 & 5 cases / Galaxy S 3 cases/ & MUCH MORE!
    • Sore thumb indeed

      To me, the bright colors make them look like cheap toys. Not classy at all.
    • And..

      You go to a REALLY important business meeting in an expensive dark suit. Then you pull out a brightly colored phone.

      The word "clown" comes to mind.
      • Does that include the white iPhone?

        I would have to think that someone in a position like you mention would opt for a black one, so they would buy that color. Nothing says that you have to get the blue or yellow or white one.
        NoMore MicrosoftEver
  • MS Store

    Microsoft stated that you can buy any color of any phone from their online store. I believe Ballmer said that during the keynote for Windows Phone. I may be mistaken but I know he said something along those lines. You may want to recheck the keynote. It was close to the end when he talked about the pricing details. ;)
  • Who is the idiot behind the profanities filter?

    It complains/blocks but there are NO profanities in my posts. Not even close.

    Please fire the person responsible.
    • I second that motion

      I got hit with the same thing.
      NoMore MicrosoftEver
    • Yes another problem with the ZDNet forums

      So apart from always coming back to the unexpanded first page of articles, no editing and no down voting we can now add a profanity filter that seems to find profanity in everything.

      Let me guess it's OSS on Linux or just a terrible software provider ;-)
    • Re: Who is the idiot behind the profanities filter?

      Avoid words with "ti‌t" or "cu‌m" in them--e.g. "competi‌tion", "docu‌ment", "accu‌mulate" are all bad news.
  • Ha, at least AT&T gives choices

    Rogers only has the 920 in black......
  • 920

    I'm sure the Lumia 920 is one of the better phones out there, however, just as the iPhone didn't give me enough reason to go to AT
  • Be Grateful Microsoft Allows These To Be Sold In Your Country

    Microsoft's cunning strategy is simple: the fewer Windows Phones are sold, the more desirable they seem. That's how Windows Phone 7 was able to dominate the mobile world without Google and Apple even noticing. And it looks like Windows Phone 8 will take that idea to the next level, by creating a buzz over products that people everywhere will read reviews about, but won't be able to buy. It is utterly fiendish in its simplicity!

    And they were able to extend that buzz to developers, by not releasing an SDK for developing WP8 apps. Though it seems someone slipped up and finally let the SDK out.

    Never mind. Windows Phone 9 will be the ultimate culmination of this strategy, by never actually being released!