Mar 26 AT 1:09 PM Nick Gray 66 Comments

T-Mobile’s contract-free HTC One priced as low as $99

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Before we get started, we need to clear a few things up. T-Mobile will not be selling the HTC One for $99. Our title is blatantly misleading to show you what consumers will see when the walk into a T-Mobile store in April to purchase the HTC One. As part of T-Mobile’s new Un-Carrier strategy, T-Mobile will no longer lock consumers into two-year contracts in an effort to recuperate the cost of subsidized phones.

Plain and simple. No more contracts. No more phone subsidies.

The $99 price tag for the HTC One that you see in the title is actually the minimum down-payment you’ll have to make when you agree to a 24 month equipment installation plan to purchase the phone. Customers with questionable credit history will be required to increase their down-payment, but their monthly installment will be decreased. The monthly payment gets added on top of your regular bill, but once the phone is paid off, the extra charge disappears.

T-Mobile has not disclosed the full retail price of the HTC One, but we can assume that customers will be asked to pony up $20 for 24 months (the same amount T-Mobile will charge for the iPhone 5), bringing the final sticker price to $579.

We applaud T-Mobile for its efforts in changing the way service providers do business, but we’re hoping they can find a simple way to educate consumers and show the value of their new pricing structure. Most people would love to pay $100 for the HTC One, but we have a feeling that confusion will settle in when T-Mobile reps start telling them that their monthly bill is going to increase.

What’s your take on T-Mobile’s new pricing and phone payment options? Will consumers be able to easily identify the long-term savings they would get by switching to T-Mobile?

Nick is a tech enthusiast who has a soft spot for HTC and its devices. He started HTCsource.com (the first HTC blog) back in 2007 and later joined the Android and Me family in the summer of 2010.

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