The HTC One M8 is finally a real product after months of leaks, with the company introducing the new flagship phone in New York City on Tuesday morning. Instead of waiting weeks for the handset, however, U.S. customers can actually get one of their own just two hours after the event began.
Starting at 1pm ET, Verizon Wireless retail stores will have inventory available while the phone can also be ordered online for delivery. AT&T and Sprint will take and deliver online orders but won’t have in-store stock until April 11. T-Mobile will start sales of the HTC One M8 next month.
The phone may be new but the pricing is still the same as the original HTC One: Expect to pay $199 with contract for a 16 GB version or $249 for a 32 GB model. A contract-free version is expected at $649 and various carriers are sure to offer monthly payment plans for the hardware with their respective handset upgrade programs. Sprint for example will sell the phone for $0 down (plus tax) and 24 monthly payments of $27.09.
The early availability can only help sales of the HTC One M8, which is a direct challenger to Samsung’s Galaxy S5. That phone has been announced but isn’t yet available, so in a reversal of last year when Samsung was out of the gate first, HTC has a chance to gain some early sales and momentum.