Timed exclusives should be the only exclusives anymoreEvan Selleck - Contributing Editor
When HTC launched the original One, which is now called the One (M7), it was easily one of my favorite Android devices of the year. If not my absolute favorite. That trend continued into 2014 with the launch of the One (M8), and I've stated in the past that I think a Windows Phone-based version of the device would be amazing.
We've seen the leaked version of the One M8 for Windows for a little while now, but today is the day that HTC and Microsoft took the wrappings off the device. The device is exactly the same hardware as the One (M8), which is actually quite exciting. Sure, we all knew that the majority of the new handset would be based on the original, but the fact it's the exact device, just with a different operating system on board, is pretty great.
Though, it's only a good thing because the One (M8) is such a great device. There's that.
Whether or not the One (M8) with Windows will sell well is something we'll have to wait and see, but considering this is the type of hardware that most people have claimed they've been waiting for, well, there's no reason to wait anymore, right? The device launches with all of the great additions brought to Windows Phone 8.1, and it's got one of the best hardware spec lists on any device out there.
The truth is, though, that it wasn't just HTC and Microsoft at the event announcing the new device. It was Verizon, too. That's because the new device is an exclusive to the Big Red carrier, and there isn't any word on whether or not it's never not going to be an exclusive for the network. As is par for the course, unfortunately, a lot of people are going to be left out in the wind if they wanted to get this particular device. (Though, I do know one person who's switching carriers to get it.)
This has to end. And this is just me, as a consumer, telling these carriers and manufacturers to stop this nonsense. These individuals making the decisions have to know that the majority of people aren't going to switch carriers for a single handset (the aforementioned person just really, really wants a good Windows Phone device because he hates everything else, so this is basically his only option at this point), and that you're immediately alienating sales from potentially a large number of customers.
There is a lot of work that goes into securing a deal, an exclusive of any kind, and there's obviously good reasons for companies to do it, because they continue to do it. But, the truth is, I'm tired of it. I'm not going to be able to use the One (M8) for Windows as my daily driver because it's not on my carrier. It should be. HTC should be trying to get this device on as many carriers as possible right out of the gate.
But, there's an easy solution here: make it a timed exclusive. This is something that is often the case in the video games industry, and it seems to work well enough. You can launch the One (M8) for Windows on Verizon, even have it on the carrier for a few weeks as an exclusive, but then launch it on other networks. Then you've got a deal in place for exclusivity, but then can reap the benefits of having it available for more customers.
Yes, I'm jealous that Verizon subscribers get to have the One (M8) for Windows and I don't. This is a device that I have been waiting for. But, it's still not enough to get me to switch. So, maybe it's ultimately my own fault, since I apparently can't switch carriers every single time I'd like to get my hands on an exclusive handset. No, wait, that's ridiculous.
Are you switching to Verizon to pick up the One (M8) for Windows? Or, are you stuck on another network and can't do it? Do you think that if exclusives exist, they should be timed? Let me know!