Cheapest way to buy the HTC One S

Posted Apr 25, 2012 at 1:45 pm in Threads > Smartphones & Tablets

Right now, I have an HTC One S sitting on my desk, but it’s a review unit and I’ll have to pack it up in a few days to send it back to HTC. Ever since T-Mobile announced they would be carrying the one S, I’ve been planning on buying the phone to replace my G2.

Most people can simply walk into a T-Mobile store and buy the phone for $249.99, sign a two year contract, fill out the rebate form and get another $50 back in the mail. For me, an Even More Plus customer, things are a little more complicated.

If I want to keep my current rate plan (two phones within unlimited text and data for $99), I have to buy the HTC One S at full retail price – $599.99. Take a second look at that price. It’s $200 more than the pent-band Samsung Galaxy Nexus which is currently listed on the Play store.

Paying full price for the phone is out of the question. My plan is to purchase the HTC One S by opening a new account and then cancelling my service.

  • Phone cost $250
  • Activation Fee $35
  • ETF: $200

I should be able to save at least $100 by going this route, but it could jump by $100 if I purchase the phone from Best Buy which is selling the phone for $150 with no mail-in rebate. My only concern is that I’ve heard rumors that T-Mobile can charge a $350 ETF in some cases, but I have not found any documentation about the charge variance and T-Mobile customer service was not helpful on the issue.

Thoughts? Have any of you ever purchased a phone and then cancelled your account right away? Are there any other ways I can get the phone cheaper?

  • http://www.lifequill.com Canterrain

    Let me try to say this in as polite as way as possible.

    Please don’t do this. Yes, you get that phone cheaper, especially through Best Buy, but do you think that differnece disappears? It doesn’t.

    Let’s say you get the phone through Best Buy. Best Buy doesn’t pay T-mobile/htc $150 to get the phone in the door. They pay the full retail price. $599, whatever. That’s why the full retail price is typcially higher at 3rd party retailers than at corporate stores.

    But why would they sell a phone for less than they paid to get it in the door? Kickbacks, basically. It’s not called that, but it kinda is. In return for getting you to commit to a two year contract with the carrier, the carrier gives best buy a ring credit worth the difference of the phone. (And with a phone like the HTC One S, that’s all they get. Just enough to cover the cost of the phone. They make no profit on it. They make profit on those accessories they try so hard to get you to buy it).

    But there is a catch. If you cancel within X amount of time (varies by carrier) Best Buy incurs a chargeback. That money they received? They have to give it back. So they took a $400+ loss on your sale. That’s why more and more retailers like this are doing credit card validations on high end phones. To recoup that cost.. from you.

    Because these chargebacks are expensive. And before anyone says companies like best buy have plenty of money, let me remind them that Best Buy is closing 50 of its stores. That’s a lot of lost jobs. And stuff like this contributes to it.

    Gaming the system has consequences. Higher phone prices, high plan prices, lost jobs.

    Please. Please don’t. Go to ebay if you have to, wait long enough and it will be there for probably even cheaper than you’ll pay going this route. But this route is killing 3rd party retailers, and it’s even having an effect on the carriers themselves. But who is going to pay in the long run? You are.

    • DROID Sam

      Calm does dude. Yes, buying a phone at BB and then cancelling a contract is not the most ethical thing to do when you consider the company is facing huge financial issues, but that doesn’t change the fact that T-Mobile is charging way too much money for the HTC One S ($50 more than AT&T is charging for the One X). You can currently buy the unlocked One S from international retailers for $550 and that’s without having to pay sales tax. If an online retailed is selling the phone for $550, they are probably making a 5% profit. Since T-Mobile is working directly with HTC to make the phone with AWS bands, they are getting a batter deal and up-selling the phone to get a 15%-20% profit on it.

      Personally, I’d just bite the bullet and sign a new contract. T-Mobile has some good deals if you haggle with them in the store.

      • http://www.lifequill.com Canterrain

        “…buying a phone at BB and then cancelling a contract is not the most ethical thing to do when you consider the company is facing huge financial issues, but that doesn’t change the fact that T-Mobile is charging way too much money for the HTC One S ($50 more than AT&T is charging for the One X).”

        Good point.. except.. let me flip that sentence.

        T-Mobile is charging way too much money for the HTC One S but that doesn’t change the fact that buying a phone at BB and then cancelling a contract is not the most ethical thing to do.

        I was calm the entire time. And just explaining not just why this is unethical, but overall a bad thing to do with consequences that go beyond what most people realize. I don’t work for BB, but I work in this area of the business and I’ve seen it. I’ve seen the writing on the wall. And someday, much like we miss being able to go into a store and handle a book before buying it, we’re going to miss being able to go into a store and handle a pone.

    • http://htcsource.com Nick Gray

      Thanks for your reply and your insight. I usually pay full price for my phone and am simply looking for various options. I don’t want to screw anyone over, simply want to find the best deal.

      • http://www.lifequill.com Canterrain

        Thanks for being understanding! I understand the wanting to find the best deal. I understand that even though these cell phones are worth $500+ dollars (processors, touch screens, sensors galore, all miniaturized) that doesn’t mean it’s worth spending $500 on, or is even feasible.

        I wish I could advise a good way to get a phone like this cheap and soon.

        We’ve sort of done this to ourselves though haven’t we? By having phones easily accessible at lower prices through contracts, we’ve devalued phones alot. We don’t think of them as being worth $500 dollars, but if you really sit down and think about what is in your phone, it is isn’t it?

        It’s like prices at the store in the U.S.. We want everything to be as cheap as possible. But we want it to be made in the U.S. and we want to be paid as much as possible to make those items. It just doesn’t work…

        But I’m not sure what the answer is.

  • SGB101

    cheapest ive seen the one S, in the uk is $670 and the X is $730

    wow them prices look so more expensive in USD, but are much cheaper than any other top end phone that has come before.

    i was expecting the one X to be £550 (or $890) like the iphone/galaxy/desire, and all the rest at launch.

    and with the Gnexus at $400 (or £250) , it would be hard to choose any other phone for me, if i was in the market and in US.

    at the moment in the uk the Gnex is currently £400 (or $650).

    we get a much better deal on contract than you lot, but hell you get much sweeter prices on devices.

    this basically turned into a rant. sorry.

    cheapest way to get one would be to mug someone. only kidding, well im not, it would be the cheapest way, but i cant condone it. :o)

  • Deb

    You need Solavei. Now contract – $49/month unlimited voice, text, and data. 4G
    T-Mobile service…
    http://www.1stbuz.com/freetalk4g
    832-436-7808 cell

  • orangestrat

    You’d be better off just getting one from craigslist. I just got mine from kijiji for $280, its used, but in nearly perfect shape.

  • Dr.Carpy

    I have one, brand new in box from a canadian carrier. If you want to buy it, contact me, let me know. you’d have to unlock it for like 20-25 bucks online. I have my heart set on the HTC J or Xperia TX, or the Odin project Sony.

  • Mwakisha joe

    My dream. Htc Android

  • Jason

    15 dollars a month and I got the HTC one s for free and its amazing

  • Max

    I found this phone free on contract for £15.50 a month on t-mobile it’s actually cheaper than the phone itself.

  • Athiena

    I’m with T Mobile right now how do I get signed up on this deal for it being less than $20 a month