Today, HTC unveiled its latest mid-range handset, the One A9, featuring some appealing specs wrapped in a slim and stylish body. Two models of the A9 were announced today, and in the United States, HTC will be selling the better-equipped of the two for $399.99.
As with the launch of any new devices, pricing will of course vary depending on the market and retailer/carrier through which the One A9 is being sold. But while such pricing variations are certainly to be expected, it seems HTC has little interest in selling its new device in the UK, given its eye-watering cost there.
In the US, for just under $400 USD (£259 GBP), you can buy you the One A9 with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of onboard storage - but in the UK, HTC is charging way more for the device - £429.99 GBP ($664 USD). However, the UK price includes 20% value added tax (VAT), which doesn't apply to US sales, so if we deduct that, the adjusted tax-free UK price comes to around £358 ($553).
That's still a massive transatlantic pricing gap though, and to add insult to injury, British buyers will also get the more poorly-equipped version of the device with just 2GB of RAM and 16GB of storage. Officially, the $399.99 US price is a launch offer, and post-launch pricing may well narrow the gap - but for now, HTC is expecting UK customers to pay an astonishing premium for a less well-equipped version of the handset.
For roughly the same price as the One A9 in the UK, you can buy Google's brand new Nexus 6P 32GB, the LG G4, or Samsung's Galaxy S6 32GB - or, to put this another way, you could pick up a hugely capable new flagship with much better specs for the same money as HTC's mid-ranger.
Many products - particularly in the technology sector - cost more in the UK than in the United States - but even so, it's hard to see how HTC can justify charging such a huge premium for an inferior version of its new product.