Remember Samsung’s Accidental Damage from Handling (ADH) cover that comes with its 2013 flagships (Galaxy S4 and Galaxy Note 3) and is likely to extend to this year’s flagships? HTC has something along those lines too. Unlike Samsung’s which is limited to just the African continet, HTC’s is international but unlike Samsung’s cover which will take care of that moment you were dancing to Pharrell’s Happy and soaked your device in the sink, it only covers the screen.
HTC is offering to replace a damaged screen of any HTC One device (not the One itself – alone – but all members of the One family like Mini, Max and probably the upcoming M8) under its HTC Advantage program. As if to make up for the add-ons that Samsung’s ADH offers to the Korean company’s loyal customers in Africa, HTC will be cuddling its loyal smartphone users with between 25 and 50 GB of free Google Drive Storage depending on which device in the HTC One family you purchase. Most likely owners of the One Mini will land the 25 GB while those who opt for the flagship devices will benefit from the 50 GB on offer. Samsung has also been rewarding its users with 50 GB free Dropbox storage so it is not that much of a foreign story. In fact low end devices like the Kenya-only Galaxy S3 Lite have this one too. Though that one is a different story all together.
HTC has quite a lot to do to march ADH. They have done well making Advantage open to everyone who owns a device in the One family but if it is to match what Samsung is wooing those of us in the African market with then it needs to go beyond the condition that the replacement will only happen in the “first 6 months of ownership”. Samsung users have a Smart Warranty for their devices which lasts upto 24 months and it is only then that the ADH cover also expires. The cover can be extended to another eligible Samsung device if the user has gone a whole 24 months without using or claiming it. In addition, you are entitled to a little more privileges under ADH unlike Advantage.
All in all, this is a good start for HTC and we hope other device makers will follow this route. On that same line, we really need HTC service centres in African countries. The company needs to realize that the African smartphone market is not as saturated as the European and North American markets. Samsung has made a lot of inroads in Africa and has a huge marketing network and reputable supply chain but there’s always room for more. If HTC is to take on Samsung as it has always aspired to, it can’t continue ignoring this market. It’s device pricing strategy will have to change for a start.