HTC announces free screen replacements as next flagship phone looms

Credit: Jason Cross

HTC is trying to drum up customer loyalty with free screen replacements as the company readies a successor to last year's HTC One.

Starting February 18, anyone who buys an HTC One, One Max, or One Mini can get a free cracked screen replacement during the first six months of ownership. The exchange generally takes eight to 10 business days. For $29, customers can get a replacement phone overnight, with a prepaid shipping label for sending back the broken phone.

Free screen replacements are the headlining feature of a new initiative called “HTC Advantage,” aimed at providing better service for One users. HTC is also promising two years' worth of major Android updates from the time of launch and 25 GB to 50 GB of free Google Drive storage, depending on the device.

Unfortunately, the screen replacement offer doesn't apply to existing One users, but it'll presumably be available with HTC's next flagship phone.

The M8 cometh

HTC has sent out invites for a March 25 event where the company will likely reveal a follow-up to the HTC One. The phone is rumored to have a larger 5-inch 1080p display with on-screen buttons, a faster processor and an improved version of the original's UltraPixel camera.

While the original HTC One received critical acclaim, the phone failed to turn HTC's fortunes around, as profits plummeted throughout 2013. The high-end market just hasn't been kind to phone makers who aren't Apple or Samsung, so HTC may be hoping that premium services, such as free screen replacements, will help its phones stand out.

At the same time, HTC says it will offer more mid-range phones in hopes of boosting revenues.

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