HTC is getting a little desperate. The company is now offering up a dual-SIM version of its flagship handset, the One, over in the UK. This is notable because it’s the first time ever that HTC has done such a thing over there. And the move is sure to annoy the local operators, who (like all of their brethren across the world) must hate dual-SIM devices. Why? That’s easy. A dual-SIM smartphone allows people to not be ‘locked in’ to one particular operator. The prospect of carrying around multiple devices makes most people stick to one network. But when you can insert two SIMs into the same phone, the situation changes completely.
Like the models already launched in China and Russia, this dual-SIM HTC One comes with a microSD card slot as well, something that is missing from the original, single-SIM device. There’s a removable back cover too, but sadly the battery is still not user replaceable. And unfortunately, LTE support is out.
The dual-SIM HTC One is up for pre-order on HTC’s UK website, and it’s priced at £494.99. That’s a lot, yes, but it’s the exact same price that the single-SIM version is selling for.
We may see the dual-SIM HTC One pop up at some third party sellers of SIM-free smartphones, but you really shouldn’t expect to buy it with a contract from an operator.
The pricing makes this an even bigger blow to operators in the UK. Up until now, most dual-SIM smartphones we’ve seen in the ‘developed’ world have either been from unknown brands, or, in the rare cases where the likes of Samsung or Sony made them, they were more expensive than the single-SIM iterations of the same models. This, along with the fact that most people in Western Europe can afford to stick with one operator, has meant that dual-SIM phones are nowhere near as popular in that part of the world as they are in ‘developing markets’. But a dual-SIM version of a flagship smartphone at the same price as the single-SIM variant (and with a microSD card slot thrown in for good measure) may just change that, especially for people who can live without LTE.