I’m going to be as upfront about this statement as I possibly can be: I hate carrier exclusives. It’s inconvenient and sparks a lot of jealousy amongst those of us locked into contracts with carriers. I can’t even begin to count how many times I’ve considered jumping ship to another carrier simply because they had a device that I wanted and would probably never have (i.e. the Nokia Lumia 920 because I figured Sprint would never jump on board with Windows Phone 8 after only having one phone running WP7, which saw little success – fortunately I was wrong in my assumption).  That being said, there is a certain necessity to exclusives in order to help with competition from a business standpoint, and I understand that. However, as we can see, sometimes making an exception to the “carrier exclusive” rule can work out for the better if you time it just right.

HTC’s been having a lot of trouble lately, that’s for sure. The company was once considered one of the top smartphone makers running on Android. It’s hard for me to say “was once” because that makes it sound like it was a long time ago, but it wasn’t even two years ago where that statement rang true. Now they sit rather dormant amongst other recognizable names in the smartphone industry like Sony, BlackBerry, and Nokia, but not quite “up there” with Samsung or Apple. With so many companies finding themselves in the same predicament, what’s a company to do to get ahead? Well, we can look to Samsung for the answer to that.

The Samsung we know today hasn’t always been so popular. There was a time (also not so long ago) where Samsung was pretty mid-range themselves. Not that their devices were shabby, but their Galaxy line hadn’t quite picked up as much popularity yet. It seems like this past year alone it went from being “A Samsung device?” to “A Samsung device!” I mean, the Galaxy S II was pretty cool and all, and so was the Galaxy Note, but it was the Galaxy S III and the Galaxy Note II that gave people that “Gotta Have It” mentality – all because they ditched carrier exclusives, kept one solid name, and made the entire release smooth and consistent.

Just think about it: The Galaxy S II had a different name and a slightly different design for each carrier. Even though it was the same basic concept each time and had the same brand name, they still added that extra unnecessary name for the Sprint variant like “Epic 4G Touch” for Sprint and didn’t even bother releasing a version for Verizon. But the Galaxy S III comes out for every major U.S. carrier and sales soared because the news about it was easy to follow. No extra names, no different designs, nothing. To see that method work for two different devices just goes to show that ditching the carrier exclusives can be a huge step in the right direction.

HTC has sent out invites to their press event set to occur on Feb. 19th, and presumably they will be announcing the HTC “M7”, also rumored to be called the “HTC One”, and while this is sure to give them a bit of attention before Mobile World Congress I think they’d get even more hype if consumers knew that they won’t have to switch carriers to be able to consider the device as a potential option for a future upgrade. I mean, I know if they announced the device to be released on every carrier except for Sprint I’d probably just as well stick with Sprint and opt for something else; it’s just easier that way. I really hope that HTC sees the success that Samsung has been having by providing open availability and decides to incorporate it into their business model.

What about you, readers? Do you think it’s easier for the customer to find the phone or the phone to find the customer? Would providing the “M7” on all major carriers help HTC or does HTC need a completely different strategy to succeed? Let me know what you think in the comments!


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Products mentioned in this Article

eBay prices for the HTC M7 (Beta)

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59 Reactions to this post

"Should carrier exclusives die?"

Please limit your reaction to 140 characters or use comments for a longer reply :)
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Robi Robista owow dna
Aaron Dean I would say yes being that they are only selling certain phones to a small fraction of the overall market. I think its a poor decision ontheir part. but hey who am I to say
Elijah David Kleehammer Absolutely. Same phone across all carriers. Just like Apple with all of their phones and Samsung with the SIII and Note II now. They are also the top 2 on the charts anyway.
Sebastian Gomes Carrier exclusivity is just plain dumb. It took quite some time for Verizon to get a good HTC phone that they could really "boast" about (DNA). The incredible was far from incredible.
James Jean-Louis Really wanted a Razor Maxx for the all day battery life bummer it only comes for Verizon. So my Answer is Yes!! kill exclusives!
Robbie Piccione Yes. I would love to see the DROID line as comprised by Motorola, HTC, and Samsung end the exclusive tie to Verizon only and expand to all major carriers (provided that DROID copyright owner Lucasfilm, LTD will allow them to do so).
Yasir Sohail They just need to do two things, bigger and bettet battery and be like Sammy n release the phone on all fiver carriers
C Bryan Thomas If the carries want to limit their sales and exposure then exclusives are the way to go. In order to reach the masses and drive sales make the device available on all carriers. Seems like a no brainer to me.
Jose Angel Santiago That should change. Just look at the popularity of the s3.
Tim Ryberg For flagship phones absolutely. I see nothing wrong with some exclusives but.the flagships should be on all carriers that want them
Tommy Lassiter They should only do it on sprint with the EVO phones
Assunta E Luciano That is a great game.wow.27 https://www.facebook.com/pages/aqxjkkkjzk/321493934637539?sk=app_208195102528120
Nyle Ahmed Yes it should
Jessi Taylor meh. i bought my s3 because i've loved samsung products since my first flip phone - the quality draws me, not the name. i currently have 4 samsung phones and a 10.1 tab in my home, all work great
Arturo Atherly What they shud do is follow what google is doing.......lower prices unlockd devices...more devices being sold EVERYBODYS HAPPY!!!!! #DUHHH
Richard Dominguez Yes.... DIE!!!
JayR Yambao Seems to be working well for Samsung.
Willie Lucero Hell yes, its bullshit you should have to switch carriers get the phone you want, look at Motorola example, why should I have to switch over to Verizon just to get a phone with battery life all day long instead of having to buy a extended battery or chose a crappier phone on a different carrier, this why Motorola and HTC especially are failing
Mark Belkowski i don't see htc around very much longer. samsung or pure google is the way to go.
Paul Keefe yeahhh
Edwin Cruz Carrier exclusives are killing HTC.
Peter Blanco Yes, just yes.
Matt Carey YES! The Lumia 920 being exclusive to AT&T was horrible!
Eric Lincoln Yes ×1000
Tyler Eggo Eggleston It needs to be killed with fire!
Paulo De Freitas I think they should, however, here in South Africa, it's not a big deal...
Mike Jones YES....DEFINITELY YES....
Justin Leung Of course, don't they want more people to use their product?
Abram Wenevermet Dennis Walking dead yourself is in the app store...dead yourselves today..
Antonio Arce Yes they should die
Mathew Poynter Yes carrier exclusives are a bad idea because it hurts sales. Look at the overwhelimg sucess of phones like the Samsung Galaxy S3 which has sold 40 million plus units. Have you heard any of HTC's devices reaching those kinds of numbers? No they havent. Samsung learned that carrier exclusives were bad and ditched the concept with its flagship devices. Exclusives make choices tough because it limits options.
Finn Evans Yes, they should burn in hell...too much maybe? lol
Melissa Furman Linnux was made to be free open source there shouldn't be an exclusive apps. sure there is always a way to get them but it is so stupid. I also hate that you have to keep carrier apps you don't need.
Tyler Saddington I dunno, I live in Australia where carrier exclusive don't exist :P
Jessica Wiseman I like it that way. I haven't seen many people with the EVO LTE so its kinda unique
Brendan Breakdown Well said Chris Hagood
Luis Robles Figueroa Yes so that way can sale more phones. If not you are not going to have too Mich sales.
Reese Woodson Yup and they should do away with contracts.
Chris Hagood They really should. With all of these carrier exclusive devices, it leads to less support of said devices, leading to upset customers. This is why I'm really liking the direction of Samsung and LG right now.
Tony Abiama Yes yes yes
Lowell Orlando Richmond buy your damn phones unlocked ffs
Rahat Muneeb htc dna

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