Smartphones see price cuts all the time. New models arrive with all the latest bells and whistles, making what was the hot phone of just a few months ago a little bit less attractive. In response, retailers throw sales, carriers ramp-up their subsidies until we’re looking at free-on-contract hardware, and over the course of a phone’s lifetime, prices fall. At least, that’s what we’re used to see happen, so it’s just a bit jarring to learn that HTC has decided to raise the cost of the One.
So, there’s this new Google Edition of the One on the way – we’ve been hearing rumors for a couple weeks, and last Thursday the phone finally went official: Google would start selling its stock Android One for just about $600.
What we didn’t notice at the time, so swept-up in the excitement over the announcement, is that HTC took the opportunity to simultaneously raise the price of its own 32GB unlocked One, sold directly through its website, to match Google’s price tag – up until then, HTC had been selling the phone for $575, $25 less.
We realize that when we’re talking about this much money, a four percent change doesn’t seem very important – you’ll probably pay more than that in tax, anyway – but that doesn’t change how bizarre it is to see an OEM raise prices on a phone post-launch.
We can’t say with any certainty what precipitated this change – did HTC set the price for Google, or did Google choose that $600 figure and HTC raised its own sticker to match? In the end, we suppose it matters little – all that counts is that the One now starts at $600.