Smartphones are wonderful machines, but they're also somewhat delicate. If you're in any way clumsy, you need some kind of case and a screen protector to protect your phone from everyday bumps and knocks that could damage your device. They may not look as nice as your naked phone, but it's better than a fatal knock to your pricey phone. Especially if it's only a few months old. HTC is hoping to appeal to smartphone shoppers with a new policy that will see the company replace displays free of charge within the first six months.
The company today announced a new program called HTC Advantage that will offer customers a one time screen replacement within the first six months of ownership. HTC Advantage also promises the latest Android updates as well as additional storage on Google Drive (how much depends on the device you buy). Anyone who purchases an HTC One, HTC One max, or HTC One mini is covered by HTC Advantage, but it doesn't sound like HTC has plans to cover current owners of the devices, or even those who have purchased any of the above devices in recent months.
Though the goal of HTC advantage is obviously to offer clumsy or unlucky users a free pass against a cracked display, this type of program could also be more environmentally positive if it were more widespread. With major companies releasing new phones every single year, the waste from discarded phones is growing at an alarming rate. Data from the EPA shows that of 141 million phones discarded in 2009, only 11.7 million of those were collected for recycling (unfortunately, the EPA hasn't published anything more recent than this). If more companies were willing to offer this kind of warranty, repair for reduced rates or offer a trade-in program, we could reduce waste as well as provide better customer service.
The problem right now is that HTC is only offering HTC Advantage with a few devices and only in the United States, so while it's a nice bonus for those who purchase eligible devices, it doesn't really have any larger effect on HTC users in general. We've reached out to HTC to inquire about future plans for the program. We'll keep you posted!