HTC One on T-Mobile will cost a whopping $579

HTC One on T-Mobile will cost a whopping $579

Summary: The HTC One will hit three major US carriers soon and T-Mobile just announced its pricing. The newest phone from HTC will require a down payment and an installment purchase plan.

TOPICS: Mobility, Android, HTC
HTC One T-mob

There is no question that the HTC One is a great phone according to reviews, including our own by Matt Miller. HTC scored a coup by getting three major US carriers to carry the HTC One. While the other two carriers have detailed cost and availability, T-Mobile just announced its pricing for the phone and it's a doozy.

The pink carrier obviously wants to reduce the initial out-of-pocket cost for buyers and will only require $99 down to purchase the HTC One. The key word in that purchase contract is "down", as it's only the beginning. T-Mobile will also require a 24 month installment plan that will run an additional $20 per month for "well-qualified T-Mobile customers 0 percent annual percentage rate on approved credit".

That puts the total cost to HTC One buyers at a whopping $579, while still requiring a two-year commitment. T-Mobile has perfected the scheme of charging no-contract phone prices without omitting the contract. Pretty clever.

Update, 11.05am PT: To be clear, the two-year contract is a purchase contract for the phone. T-Mobile does not require a contract for phone service. You can take the phone to another carrier (if that carrier will let you) at any time. You do have to make phone payments to T-Mobile for the two years of the purchase contract, or pay the entire $579 early to unlock the phone.

Topics: Mobility, Android, HTC

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  • How is this any different than any other high end phone?

    I'm a T-Mobile customer and just purchased the iPhone 5 (16GB model). It cost me $579.00...right in line with the price of the HTC One.

    "T-Mobile has perfected the scheme of charging no-contract phone prices without omitting the contract." You can purchase the HTC One outright and have no contract. If you opt to finance the HTC One through T-Mobile then you're signing a financing, not service, contract. Does this really need explained to you?
    • Exactly.

      While I find T-Mobile's coverage simply horrid for my-self, this price is inline with a well thought out and exceptionally manufactured product. The HTC One is the first Android handset that has looked really tempting.
    • ZDNet fail

      I agree with you. Can the author go to Radio Shack and buy the parts and make a phone of the same quality? :-) The price is very fair given this phone's alleged (let's wait to see how users feel after 1 month) capabilities. Did the author expect HTC to dump them on the market at a loss? Those days of buying market share are long gone.
      beau parisi
    • Exactly II

      The media keeps explaining this incorrectly. I am an AT&T customer. If I want to buy the One off contract at full retail, I'm sure it would be around $600. Does that mean AT&Fee will lower the cost of my plan? Hellz no.

      I happen to be grandfathered in with unlimited data and have gotten no indication from Ma Bell that it plans on revoking that (they love to thank me for my 8+ years as a customer).

      And like Ye said, you don't have to use the payment plan or you don't have to take the full 24 months to pay it off (prepayment is only an interest if the creditor is making interest income). If T-Mo had the same level of coverage in my area (home, shopping, work etc), I'd switch.

      That headline is irrisponsible and will turn people away. The author should have at least been responsible enough to talk about the price of buying ANY smartphone at rull retail which is an option on any carrier at any time. Poor form ZDnet.
      • Oops

        Typed too fast. I did not qualify my first two paragraphs. My point is T-Mo will save you money on the PLAN side, a contract-free plan [read: no early termination fees] and is NOT charging anymore for the phone that is would normally cost.

        The 3rd paragraph should have said "prepayment is only an ISSUE if the creditor intends to make interest income through financing".
      • I like doing it like this

        I am a t-mobile customer and I get pretty decent coverage in my area. I like the new way that they are handling selling their handsets. It really doesn't make that much difference but the service contracts are always full of entanglements like having to pay the same termination fee no matter where you are in the contract.

        This way, you know the price up front. I restrict myself to only buying phones when I can afford to buy them outright (I have a bit of a gadget-a-holic problem) but the 0% APR makes it tempting because I am under no obligation to stay with the carrier if I just pay the phone off. At Christmas time when my wife and I tend to upgrade, it might make sense to buy phones that we really like knowing that we can pay them off when we get our tax returns with no penalty.
    • Rates Lower After 2 years

      If you k like keeping your phone longer, you're rate plan willgo down $20/month. Even with the monthly payments, the rates will be best for alot of people if they have good coverage. T-Mobile $90 for unlimited data; VZ save price is only 1GB...I think AT&T maybe is 3gb... But after 2 years, you've paid your subsidy to the others but they won't reduce your rate and will charge upgrade fees etc if you wavy a new phone. T-Mobile needs a good LTE network. I just left my apple store and couldn't believe how much faster their phones were vs T-Mobile. But all networks will then have LTE slowing down add more people get in their networks. On AT&T,vz etc your still paying 579 or more for the phone; it's just hidden in a2 year contract. Well see if consumers are smart enough to figure it our and compare pricing
    • What a hack piece...

      How come you (the author) has singled out the HTC One as being somehow expensive and T-Mobile for offering the ability to finance an expensive phone yet say nothing about how expensive all other smart phones or phone plans are?

      The HTC is 2x the phone the iPhone is and it is make of higher quality materials then the SG.

      You, sir, are a hack. Sorry for you.
      Rann Xeroxx
    • Same horse different color

      Service contract, finance contract you're still locked in for 2 years. In fact you leave after 6 months you still owe T-mobile $360. Leave Verizon after 6 months ETF is $290. Only at 14 months does leaving T-mobile become cheaper than leaving Verizon.
  • Monthly Payment Reduction

    I replied to you on Twitter on this - T-Mobile will reduce your bill by the phone payment amount (I believe is $24.00) after the two years are up. You're not going to get that on at&t or any other carrier.

    I agree they've got you essentially locked in for 2 years, but T-Mo removes the obscurity of actually buying a phone outright while being on a contract. I can go to at&t and buy the HTC One outright for $599, but my monthly bill does not change at all.
    • Mind read

      I'm glad someone else made this point as well (and with more clarity). My brain is not working with me today :)
  • It's still cheaper!

    I'm not sure what the Author is Thinking about here.

    A single line with verizon with Unlimited Talk & Text and 2GB of data will cost you $100/month. On T-Mobile it'll cost you $60. That's a savings of $40 a month. Do you honestly think that Verizon is not charging you for the phone in those $40??

    I realize using Verizon as an example is not the greatest since Verizon doesn't sell the HTC One (Thanks a LOT Verizon! /s ) but the concept is the same, most cell phone companies charge you for the phone in their normal price!

    So if you want a phone that is available on T-Mobile AND Verizon (Galaxy S4 for example) you would most probably pay $200 at Verizon and $100 at T-Mobile + the 2 year contract.

    Since Verizon is charging you $40 more a month, Multiply that by 24 and you get $960. Plus the $200 that you paid originally, that's $1,160 that you paid for the phone.

    With T-Mobile you'd be paying $100 + ($20*24) = $580

    Now I understand that technically you are not really paying that much just for the Phone with Verizon, you ARE getting better service, but if you live in an area where T-Mobile service is just fine for you, then yes, that's how much you'd be paying.
    • No excise taxes.....

      The other thing to consider here is when I pay my $50/mo to T Mobile, it actually comes out to $52.80, I only pay my state sales tax.....on a contract all those federal excise taxes that come to $10 or $15 a month are extra, am I right? I've never signed a contract in my 10 years with a cell phone....
      • Totally agree

        In fact, it is even cheaper if you buy refill card from others resellers online. I usually pay $95 for a $100 refill card. Not even sales tax!
        I think the author cannot do simple math or addicted to ATT/Verizon.
    • Evil Math

      And that is the evil math the majority of U.S. cell phone customers never really figure out or are aware off.

      That math is what came to mind the moment T-Mo said it would be changing how it charges for devices vs service. It kind of reminds me of how you can either lease your cable modem or just buy your own (Comcast at any rate). If you lease a cable modem for even two years, it can add up to $120. You can buy a nice cable modem for around $60 and be done with it.

      If you get a subsidized phone through VZW or AT&Fee and keep it LONGER than two years, you keep right on paying for it, the cost buried in your monthly plan charges. Sadly, that is where I am now. My HTC Inspire hit upgrade in Oct'12. I still have it (waiting for the One or SGS IV).

      Waiting's finally over.
      • Comcast Modem

        Off topic, but when I signed up for Comcast almost 2 years ago, I looked into buying a modem. But DOCSIS 3.0 modems were $500. So I'm renting the modem from Comcast for $10/month. Moto and Cisco DOCSIS 3.0 modems are still in the $100 range. What modem are you using, that you got for $60?
        • Huh?

          If modems are $100 and you are renting one for $10/month, why have you still not bought one already? It pays for itself in 10 months.
          Jeff Kibuule
    • Another Way to Look at This...

      AT&T and Verizon keeps on charging you for the phones, even after you have paid them off!

      WOW!!! How do you like that James Kendrick?
  • Not locked in

    I believe you can purchase the phone outright at any point during the term of the financing agreement, and either bring it to another carrier or sell it online.
    • That is correct.

      I like the direction T-Mobile has taken with their un-carrier effort.