Over the last five years, HTC has gone out of its way to introduce special editions of its flagships. While most have been extremely limited (and in many cases, not for sale), the T-Mobile myTouch 3G Fender edition was at least somewhat attainable -- not to mention the subject of a national ad campaign. The result of a partnership with legendary guitarist Eric Clapton, the Fender phone offered a unique glossy wood look and included a 3.5mm headphone jack (something that was left out of the original model). It sold out pretty quickly.
During Rihanna's HTC-sponsored Unapologetic Tour, the singer had a special surprise for one audience member in each city she visited: A limited edition One X with the Unapologetic logo printed on the back. And if Rihanna refers to the phone as "some high level s**t," you know it's gotta be something worth holding onto.
A phone that reminds us of an alien species on the original Star Trek? Sure, why not! HTC enlisted the help of fashion label cushnie et ochs to produce a special edition HTC One X that used a two-part chassis instead of unibody. One side of the phone was black, and the other was white -- and it even came with a special wallpaper to match the color scheme. The phone was only handed out to celebs at New York Fashion Week and was never intended to go on sale.
This edition is actually just your run-of-the-mill One M7 dressed in fancy Billionaire Boys Club packaging. The graphics were designed by Sk8thing in honor of the Pharrell Williams-founded fashion company, and the devices were placed in gift bags handed out at the company's 10th Anniversary Dinner.
It wouldn't be proper to do a whole bunch of special edition phones without including Hello Kitty, would it? The Butterfly s launched in Asia last year, and it didn't take long before HTC announced a $770 Hello Kitty-branded version, which features the iconic character with a butterfly-shaped bow.
When it rains, it pours. Also in September of last year, HTC partnered with UK designer David Koma to produce a One mini with his design. Only ten units were available, and you had to win a Twitter contest in order to get your hands on one.
The HTC One M7 comes in a gold-colored hue, but it's nothing close to having the real thing. The manufacturer produced five units with 18 carat gold to commemorate the 18th anniversary of the MOBO Awards, which honors urban music in the UK. The going price of the extremely limited edition phone: $4,400. (And yes, our very own Richard Lai licked one.) HTC also made another five units with 24 carat gold plating, and gave them away in a Twitter contest.
What better way to promote the latest Marvel movie than to slap a special S.H.I.E.L.D. logo onto the back of a flagship phone and give it away in a sweepstakes? That was HTC's strategy with this One M8 Limited Edition. You could enter the contest by showing off a Captain America-inspired selfie with the #superselfie hashtag.
If you can't get an HTC exclusive any other way, it never hurts to come out with a special edition phone with a different look and new audio features. Such is the case with Sprint's Harman/Kardon Edition, which has a dark back and champagne-colored front trim and comes with a software feature called Clari-fi. Not only that, it also supports 24-bit, 192kHz lossless FLAC files for higher quality music.
In today's announcement, HTC teamed up with Singapore-based design collective Phunk Studios to create a 64-unit run of limited edition One M8s in two different colors.
And in honor of Throwback Thursday, we present the HTC Touch Ted Baker Edition. The device came out in late 2007, back in the days of small touchscreens and Windows Mobile. This purplish model was sold through Carphone Warehouse in the UK as part of a national retail deal. For some odd reason, it was named the Ted Baker Needle.