Ahead of MWC and hot on the heels of its announcement that the next HTC flagship smartphone will be unveiled on March 25, HTC is introducing a new program: HTC Advantage.

The advantage program is free for HTC customers and includes a number of features designed to build customer loyalty. The first is the inclusion of a 6 month limited warranty to cover any damage to your screen. If you ding, scratch or crack your screen within the first 6 months of ownership, HTC will replace your display free of charge (1 time only). This applies to any HTC One, One mini and One max devices purchases from this day forward (and presumably HTC's next flagship will also fall under this umbrella after it's released). 

The limited warranty won't cover additional damage (e.g. water, non-functioning devices) and is limited to issues with your display. HTC will cover ground shipping in both directions for your damaged device, which it expects will take around 8 - 10 days to complete. If you need your device back quicker than that, HTC will offer an overnight option for $29. If you opt to pay the $29, HTC will ship you a refurbished device overnight and you just send your device back the next day. In the overnight exchange case, you'll obviously get a clean device - a tempting option if your device has scuffs/damage beyond the cracked screen. Once again, non-functioning devices won't be accepted under the terms of this warranty.

The other elements of HTC Advantage are things we've already heard from the company. HTC is committing to offering the latest Android updates for two years from the launch of any device. Unfortunately there is no commitment for the time between an Android release and when it'll be available on a HTC device, but the company does promise that it has been working to streamline its software development and deployment processes. The final component is free cloud storage with enough space to help you back up your device. Today that comes in the form of 25 - 50GB of Google Drive storage and HTC's backup tool

The cracked screen replacement is limited to the US for now, and HTC Advantage has a North America only focus at launch. HTC expects both of these things to be rolled out globally at some point in the future though.

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  • anandreader106 - Tuesday, February 18, 2014 - link

    No deal HTC. You've burned me twice with prior flagship phones that you failed to update. At the time you were "committed" to updating them as well and then you clung to an excuse not to.

    How about this proposal:
    I'll take care of my phone and protect it from physical damage.
    You take care of my phone by giving me TIMELY android updates and commit to THAT!

    Can you dig it?
  • WithoutWeakness - Tuesday, February 18, 2014 - link

    Purchase the Google Play Edition and get the best of both. Get the hardware and warranty from HTC and the OS is AOSP. Problem solved.
  • Braumin - Tuesday, February 18, 2014 - link

    Technically it's not AOSP it's GMS with no HTC skin. Would that allow you to get OS updates though or does that still need to come from HTC?
  • A5 - Tuesday, February 18, 2014 - link

    AFAIK, the GPE phones are updated by Google. But they do lag behind the Nexus devices by a bit.
  • WithoutWeakness - Tuesday, February 18, 2014 - link

    I believe that the Google Play Edition phones run the OEM's kernel with Google's build of Android on top. The devices should get Android updates on a similar cadence as Nexus devices as long as Google continues to support them.
  • superflex - Tuesday, February 18, 2014 - link

    Let me guess.

    You couldn't upgrade your Evo 4g to ICS so mom kicked you out of the basement, your girlfriend dumped you, the sun refused to rise and a hoards of locusts descended upon your homeland.

    Seriously, how did the inability to upgrade from GB to ICS negatively affect you?
    Did you lose productivity in using your phone?
    Did you lose a girlfriend because you didn't have cute emoticons to compete with her iPhone?

    Seriously, how did non having the latest build affect you other than emotionally?
  • cmdrdredd - Tuesday, February 18, 2014 - link

    New updates add additional functionality and after a while, new apps stop working properly on old versions of the OS. Plus it fixes memory leaks, adds additional performance in some areas...so continue being a dick using an old OS with issues that the update would fix.
  • Peskarik - Tuesday, February 18, 2014 - link

    What's with all the emotions, the butthurt and girlfriend this girlfriend that? Have you been dumped by your boyfriend, sweetheart?
  • takeship - Sunday, February 23, 2014 - link

    Security updates. HTC doesn't just not update old flagships to newer Android versions, they also drop security update support. Now, with most Android apps asking for permission to impersonate you if they so desire on install it may not matter much, but there is, for instance, a known wifi driver vulnerability with exploit code in common usage for all HTC phones with pre-4.1 Android.
  • poisonsnak - Wednesday, February 19, 2014 - link

    My HTC One got updated to KitKat about a month ago. I think Motorola and obviously the Nexus devices got it first but it was before Samsung, LG, or other companies in similar positions. I was happy with the timing for the 4.3 release as well, and I'm on a small Canadian carrier who's usually last on the list for updates.

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