HTC One

New HTC America initiative promises free screen replacement, software updates for two years, free storage for HTC One series phones in the U.S.

Amid decreasing sales and continued financial worries, HTC America this morning announced HTC Advantage, a program that swaps out broken screens, and commits to keeping the software on its current line of HTC One smartphones (including the HTC One Mini and One Max) up to date.

The promises are twofold, and simple:

  • If you crack your display in the first six months you own the phone, HTC will fix it for free.
  • HTC will provide timely updates for two years from the date the phone launches, both for major revisions of Android as well as improvements to its own Sense software.

In addition, HTC is giving either 25 or 50 gigabytes of free storage with Google Drive for two years.

Piqued your interest yet? Read on for more details.

Again, HTC Advantage applies to U.S. customers, and only to the HTC One line — which comprises the eponymous phone, as well as the One Mini and One Max. HTC couldn't comment on future products — but you've got to imagine any new flagship devices released this year would be covered. You'll ship your phone to Houston, where it will be repaired and returned to you.

For the screen replacement, you'll have the option of free shipping, with a total turnaround time of eight to 10 days. Or if you simply can't go without a phone, $29 will get you overnight shipping. If the cracked screen is hiding more extensive damage, you'll get a refurbished replacement phone — if your original phone is still under warranty.

On the software side, HTC's devices are just starting to receive updates to Android 4.4.2. With the commitment to two years of updates, the HTC One should have a little more than a year left under its belt. HTC considers major updates to be anything with a new nickname — Android 4.3 Jelly Bean to Android 4.4 KitKat, for example. So by that math, we should expect the One line to receive at least one more major software update (roughly around this time next year, we'd wager) before it becomes legacy.

As for the free storage, the HTC One Max will get 50 gigabytes of free storage in Google Drive for two years. The HTC One and One Mini will each get 25GB of storage, once they're updated to Sense 5.5. The Google Play edition of the HTC One does not receive this free storage, Google says, because its bootloader is unlockable.

And that's that. Good promises, all. We'll hold you to it, HTC.

HTC AMERICA CHALLENGES INDUSTRY STANDARDS WITH INNOVATIVE OWNERSHIP EXPERIENCE AND NEW COMMITMENTS TO CUSTOMERS

First-of-its-kind HTC Advantage™ delivers one-time cracked screen replacement, commitment to future software innovation and content solutions for HTC One® family of smartphones

Vice President of Customer Experience to Lead HTC Advantage

BELLEVUE, WA — February 18, 2013 — HTC America Inc., a leader of mobile innovation, is building upon years of product and design firsts by charting new territory to redefine the mobile experience with today’s launch of HTC Advantage™, an unparalleled initiative that gives HTC smartphone owners in the United States added benefits they need after investing in a new smartphone.

HTC Advantage marks an enhanced focus and commitment to customers who select the best and want to keep it that way, by delivering both hardware and software commitments for the HTC One family of smartphones – HTC One, HTC One mini and HTC One max. HTC Americas is working to solve the challenges of today’s mobile lifestyle featuring a free one-time cracked screen replacement within the first six months of ownership, a commitment to future software innovation, and content storage and backup solutions that consumers need in today’s digital world.

“We recognize that people spend good money to buy smartphones. Creating premium products that offer customers the best and latest has always been the HTC way, and now we’re carrying that commitment beyond the handset purchase to ensure customers remain satisfied beyond day one,” said Jason Mackenzie, president of HTC Americas. “In line with our history of firsts, we want to be the first to protect the investment customers make in our premium devices, and have created a new position of vice president of Customer Experience to oversee this commitment as well as the launch and evolution of HTC Advantage.”

Ed Kuhner, vice president, Customer Experience, HTC Americas said, “Keeping customers happy is something we believe a premium product maker should do, so we commit to continually listening to our customers and developing new, innovative solutions based on customer feedback and addressing their pain points over time – that’s the HTC Advantage.”

Free Cracked-Screen Replacement

Even with ongoing improvements in manufacturing, more durable construction, stronger scratch resistant screens, and the addition of protective cases, broken screens are an unfortunate and costly part of mobile phone ownership. Starting today, HTC Advantage is doing away with that frustration by giving U.S. customers who purchase any of the HTC One family of smartphones a free one-time screen replacement within the first six months of ownership.

HTC Americas Commitment to Android Updates

When a customer purchases a smartphone, they can’t always be certain they’ll receive future software enhancements or performance improvements. HTC Americas is rectifying the issue and aspires to lead the industry in Android update delivery for the HTC One smartphone, evident by the speedy delivery of the latest version of Android (KitKat 4.4.2) and HTC’s latest innovation in HTC Sense 5.5 across numerous carriers in North America. HTC was the first in the U.S. and Canada, outside of Google-owned companies and Google Play editions of devices, to begin delivering KitKat to its customers.

HTC Americas has also proactively committed to upgrade the HTC One mini and HTC One max to KitKat in the coming months, allowing consumers with the HTC One family of smartphones to receive continued support from HTC and the latest operating system (OS) innovation. HTC not only strives to deliver faster updates, but to provide full transparency to consumers on the process and status of each device update. In addition, HTC Americas is committing to support the HTC One family of smartphones in the United States with major Android OS upgrades for up to two years from the initial launch date of the phone.

Peace of Mind

Smartphones have become the one thing that consumers can’t leave their home without since it’s their communication hub, primary camera and vital access to entertainment. With the volume and variety of information and memories stored on smartphones, HTC One customers can have peace of mind that their content is accessible with 25GB – 50GB of free additional online storage*, along with the ease of transferring content from their computer to their phone, and back up and restore** options directly from HTC.

The HTC One

The HTC One smartphone launched to critical acclaim in 2013 receiving numerous awards for its innovations in design, imaging and audio experiences from the mobile industry, technology reviewers and consumer reporters. The family of smartphones expanded with the addition of the HTC One mini and HTC One max smartphones offering consumers more choice with pocket-friendly and super-sized options.

Availability

HTC Advantage launches today in the United States where it is available with new purchases of the HTC One family of products. For more information on HTC, the HTC One family of smartphones or HTC Advantage please visit www.htc.com/advantage.

About HTC

Founded in 1997, HTC Corp. (HTC) is the creator of many award-winning mobile devices and industry firsts. By putting people at the center of everything it does, HTC pushes the boundaries of design and technology to create innovative and personal experiences for consumers around the globe. HTC's portfolio includes smartphones and tablets powered by the HTC Sense® user experience. HTC is listed on the Taiwan Stock Exchange (TWSE: 2498). For more information, please visit www.htc.com. user experience.

* Additional online/cloud storage through Google Drive Google. Offer is for 2 years of storage from date of redemption; must redeem before 1/1/2016. Fees and/or other terms may apply after offer expires. See Google Drive support site for details (https://support.google.com/drive/answer/3333549?p=drive_offers_htc&rd=1). Google Drive app is not provided by or associated with HTC Corporation.

** Backup/restore services are provided through HTC Backup and requires signing up for HTC Account and third party storage account. HTC Backup does not back up some content, including paid apps, photos and music. See https://www.htcsense.com/legaldoc/#tac for HTC Account and HTC Backup service’s terms, content backup limitations and requirements.

 

Reader comments

HTC Advantage: A new level of commitment for Android customers

74 Comments

it may cost a lot so they want to try it first in US and see the
results, later they may consider other regions if it works fine. you'd
like them to make it globally from the start? you are a funny guys.

Those that have an htc one or plan on getting one are doing good now. That is if htc fulfills this promise. It's good to see this. They need all the help they can get. I lost my interest in htc after the horrible evo 3d. Maybe they'll be good again. Although the htc one is still a great phone with a high resale value. I would love to have the htc one as a backup but prices for a used one seem to stay above $300.

Posted via Android Central App

Lost interest after the Evo 3D too.

Posted from my "KNOX-FREE" 4.3 Sprint GS3 Maxx...!!!
(ZeroLemon 7000mA battery and ZeroShock Case)

Eh the screen thing is pretty dumb. Like yeah it sounds nice at first, but only for 6 months? You're usually pretty careful with your new phone and get more careless as time goes on. But this is coming from someone who's never cracked a screen so maybe I'm biased. Just sounds like they're trying to grab headlines while still not really doing anything useful. I hope their next phone is awesome, I'm tired of samsung's bloat.

I agree I don't get how people can get free stuff and then still complain. What an asshole.

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Not to mention for those of us on tmobile, that's right around when Jump kicks in with no extra upgrade fee. Seems like the perfect deal to me.

I agree. Every time I've cracked a screen (twice) it's been at right about the 9-12 month mark. It'd be nice if there was some kind of paid extended warranty plan offered directly for HTC kind of like Apple Care.

Having broken my Nexus 5 screen only two months in (worst thing ever), I would have loved something like this. I think this is very useful and a great move by HTC.

This is nice to see, but I doubt it will ever make it to New Zealand. Sending my One in for a replacement tomorrow, not sure if I'll stick with it (build quality issues and pink camera).

What about us brain-dead slobs?

I got my One when they arrived on VZ in late August. I would not expect to get all the perks, but it would be nice to get some free Google Drive space for us people who made the One popular to begin with...

Kudos to HTC. Competitive advantage right there.

Posted from the surface of the moon using my LG Optimus G Pro on T-Mobile with 0 Death Star bloat...

Extra props to HTC! You have to admit HTC is on the top of customer satisfaction. This is making me consider HTC for my next phone. I really don't see other companies going very far to keep their current customers happy.

Posted via Android Central App

This is a great start to try and turn things around. It's a shame that it took them nosediving towards bankruptcy to make them finally start to take things seriously.

I'd also like to see them stick to 2 product lines that keep the same name and just add the year to it. Something like the "One 2014 edition" and the "One Pro 2014 edition"

The "One" would be like their current sealed phone.
The "Pro" would have a removable battery and SD card slot.

Otherwise they would be the same phone internally to make software updates as easy as possible.

Lasty, I hated the cheap feeling plastic on the edge of the One. It ruined the feel of the phone. They should surround the phone with a nice rubberized plastic. It would not only continue to feel good in the hand, but it would further protect from accidental drops.

Good for HTC. Looks like Motorola's fast updates were making somewhat of an impact after all.

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Question is, is this retroactive? My wife's HTC One DE has a crack in the screen that happened within the 6mos period, but it's been over 6mos now since it happened.

Now promise that ALL bootloaders will be unlockable and you will have me as a definite customer.

Posted via Android Central App

Hopefully they introduce something like this in the UK (and elsewhere, of course). I think it's a great idea.

Posted via Android Central App

Very nice, I hope HTC is able to turn things around. The screen replacement is an excellent addition to the standard warranty.

This is awesome! I love my HTC ONE, and it's the phone that pulled me away from iOS hell. I love when a company starts caring about its customers now let's see if LG, Sony, and Samsung all follow along.

Posted via Android Central App

I've moved on from HTC, and since I didn't buy a One I'm not eligible for any of this goodness, but it's good to see an Android manufacturer specifically state in writing how long they'll be updating a phone. HTC, probably more than most, were spotty with updates. ESPECIALLY if you didn't buy the -main- flagship phone (One S owners, how are you feeling?).

Maybe if they put out a phone I like in 2 years I'll give them another look, but this is just one step of the process. The other is having a Google Play Edition ROM for every device so we can bypass their crud.

So, if you break it at 1 year, it isn't covered? I mean, I guess this is like AppleCare built-in. Would be nice if they had HTC Advantage+, to get replacements for the two years...

But, but, that would make no sense! (pun intended)

Posted from my "Gift from God" Note 3, my "God-Given" iPad Mini 2, or my "Risen" Samsung Chromebook.

Is Sense that bad? I've never used an HTC handset, hence the question.

Posted from my "Gift from God" Note 3, my "God-Given" iPad Mini 2, or my "Risen" Samsung Chromebook.

Any UI can be considered "Bad" UI is so subjective. But I would say that the new sense UI is so much more advanced and efficient than the older versions. Not sure what there is to complain about. If you don't like it, you don't like it get over it, others do.

Agreed on the first two sentences, brother.

Posted from my "Gift from God" Note 3, my "God-Given" iPad Mini 2, or my "Risen" Samsung Chromebook.

How could you possibly know (the second sentence)? Being, as you stated above, you've never used it.

Hypocrisy or mindless Samslab fanaticism?

Lol! I've heard from other people that it's gotten better, over the years.

Posted from my "Gift from God" Note 3, my "God-Given" iPad Mini 2, or my "Risen" Samsung Chromebook.

The following comment is purely my opinion:

Sense was a bit bulky but it was the cleanest UI around, especially pre-ICS. Sense 5.x has been a huge improvement and each one seems to be getting better.

It all comes down to what flavor you like the most but I would really like to see those that bash Sense call out what version their bashing. Sense is not at all what it used to be.

Full disclosure - I use Apex so I can customize beyond what Sense or stock can offer.

Thanks, for providing your opinion!

Posted from my "Gift from God" Note 3, my "God-Given" iPad Mini 2, or my "Risen" Samsung Chromebook.

Speaking only for myself, YES! The ONLY phone that they have on the market that I would even remotely consider is the Google Play Edition One.

I've used a number of HTC phones over the years, starting with Sense 1.0 on the HTC Evo 4G. Then the HTC Sensation, Thunderbolt, Evo 3D and finally, the OneX. I've had it. It's too heavy on resources (especially RAM) and totally unnecessary. Couple this with the fact that they have been spotty with OS updates and its just a turn off. I totally attribute all the heavy customization that goes into Sense as to the reason of when they do release an update, its months and months late. To be honest, they would be better served by going mostly stock (keeping the OS lightweight) and separating things like the Camera, BlinkFeed, etc as apps that are updated via the Play Store while making them functional only on targeted devices.

Of course HTC will say that's part of their identity, etc etc. Yeah, and that's been working how well for you? I've more than given the opportunity to improve. Until they get rid of Sense, I won't be back.

I agree that HTC should follow Motorola's lead, by going near stock and placing their apps in the Play Store. I'm actually surprised that they haven't yet. If they're truly committing to updates, then you'd think they'd take what seems to be the most logical course of action.

Posted from my "Gift from God" Note 3, my "God-Given" iPad Mini 2, or my "Risen" Samsung Chromebook.

HTC's distinctive design along with Blinkfeed is what separates HTC from the clutter in a store's display ensemble. With the addition of screen replacement and update guarantees the most important marketing will occur where the decision is made—at the point of sale. Now that's efficiently brilliant!

They have changed around so much shit from the way that Android actually works that it takes me forever to figure things out. And then they kept around old crap like vertical scrolling for some parts of the UI, and horizontal scrolling in other parts of the UI. And outside of Sense there is that stupid button layout. Just... No. I don't have time for that shit.

Haha, I can see why you would feel that way. I bet, the Moto X has you spoiled. I know I would be.

Posted from my "Gift from God" Note 3, my "God-Given" iPad Mini 2, or my "Risen" Samsung Chromebook.

Unfortunately, that is not going to happen. The HTC US product team did an AMA and someone brought this up. Their response was basically that the GPE was for that purpose and that HTC believes that Sense is the best way to experience Android. I'm sure I can't post a link so look up HTC product team on Reddit to see the entire AMA.

Seems like a company that is barley able to keep its head above water would want to spend time and resources on bigger problems than changing the look of menus or adding a new reader app.

Oh, I know it's not going to happen. That's fine with me. It's their loss, not mine. They need me as a customer more than I need an HTC phone.

"Piqued your interest yet?"

Nope. Only way HTC could pique my interest is by adding back a user-replaceable battery to their phones. Otherwise they're dead to me. /just keeping it realz :)

You mean just keeping it whiny? Non-removable battery is not that big of a deal, I was in that group and with the One I see no need for a removable battery anymore let alone an sd card slot.

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LOL Yeah, you could say that. :) It's the truth for me though. I prefer the option to never have to tether my phone to a charge, just swap out for a fresh battery to get back to a full charge within minutes (throw the depleted spare back in the charger and go about my business). That's invaluable to me and an option I'm not willing to live without.

When I had a Galaxy Nexus, a removable battery was a huge deal as that thing struggled to power on without using half it's battery charge. With my HTC DNA, it's a non-issue as the battery can make it through an entire day but there will always be use cases where a replaceable battery can be invaluable.

Not sure why an unlocked bootloader means no Google Drive storage. Still, this is very great news and sohuld help HTC stand out.

Still locked in contract for another year on EVO LTE...... yeah and cant even get the 4.3 update out. Ass kissing is a little to late.

Maybe support us EVO LTE and ONE X owners then we'll talk.

hey AC folks tell me if you know. with free storage for 2 years. lets say you fill that up and at the end of two years you decide not to pay for it what happens to your stuff? i know Google gives like 15 free (or is is 5?) do they just delete your stuff till its under 15 (or 5)

My 2 month old Verizon HTC One does not qualify. I was just quoted $175. :-(

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Combined with their transparency about system updates and the updates they've provided since August, this can only help with customer satisfaction and word of mouth leading up to their major annual premium phone release.

Great selling points, however, how would updates be managed through Verizon Wireless? They are so slow in getting updates out.

IMO, HTC makes great HW, but loses the Marketing battel to Samsung (who I always call the new SONY)

Any word on if the M8 will include Qi charging? I am addicted to this and use it on my DNA and Nexus 7 Tablet. If there is no Qi, I would probably not upgrade.