By Stephen Schenck | April 1, 2013 4:39 PM
Is $250 the new normal for high-end smartphones on-contract? Last week we learned that AT&T was going to sell the Galaxy S 4 with a subsidized price of $250. Today, we get to see a leak showing how the HTC One will come to AT&T, as well, and it has us thinking that these $250 prices might be here to stay.
Indeed, the leak shows pre-orders for the HTC One beginning this Friday, and the source behind this claims that the base model 32GB HTC One will sell for just about $250 on-contract.
We heard over the weekend that AT&T would be the exclusive carrier to sell the One’s 64GB edition, which will reportedly sell for about $300 with service agreement, though it may not be a part of these pre-order plans.
It’s good to learn that neither the One nor GS4 will have an advantage here, letting us really see how customers demand these models, all else being equal, but we’re worried that this is a troubling precedent of things to come. While T-Mobile tries to kill the specter of phone subsidies altogether, will other carriers turn a blind eye and try to redefine what we expect from such on-contract prices?