T-Mobile has been the only major U.S. carrier unable to offer Apple’s iPhone for a long time now – and they’ve been anything but silent about their resentment over that fact. But today, T-Mobile’s day has finally come. As part of their “Uncarrier” event being held this morning in New York, the carrier announced that they will finally begin offering the iPhone for as little as $15 up front, in addition to a series of monthly payments.
T-Mobile announced today that qualifying customers can get an iPhone 5 for $99.99 down, plus monthly payments. T-Mobile is the only major U.S. wireless company to offer iPhone 5 with no annual service contract plus unlimited talk, text and Web on a screaming-fast nationwide 4G network. And because there are no annual contracts, customers make the decision when to upgrade their devices — not the carrier.
[...]Qualifying customers can get iPhone 4S through the Simple Choice Plan for $69.99 down and $20 per month for 24 months. iPhone 4 will be available for qualifying customers through the Simple Choice Plan for $14.99 down and $15 per month for 24 months. Financing is available on approval of credit online and in participating locations. iPhone 4S and iPhone 4 will be available in select markets.
T-Mobile pricing tactic is part of their move to ditch traditional carrier contracts for mobile devices. Rather than offer a subsidized device with a 2-year contract, T-Mobile offers the device without any contractual obligation. Instead, they charge an up-front fee, and a series of monthly payments – $99 down and $20 per month for 24 months, in the case of the iPhone 5. That brings the actual cost of the iPhone 5 up to $579.
It’s an unusual tactic – and I can see both pros and cons. On the one hand, that same $20 per month would go towards your mobile contract with most providers – not so with T-Mobile. Instead, it’s an added fee, sort of like a modem rental from a cable internet provider. On the other hand, customers will actually own their iPhones free and clear, and won’t have to worry about switching carriers before a set contract period.
The carrier has also announced that they will offer a new service called HD Voice for improved iPhone 5 call quality – the first U.S. carrier to offer nationwide support for the service. Additionally, the lower overall prices of their smartphone plans, coupled with the fact that almost all of their plans include tethering, makes it seem like a very attractive option for many consumers.
As for the plan pricing: The company’s Simple Choice plan starts at $50 per month, which offers unlimited voice calling and texting, as well as 500MB of data. Additional data can be added at a cost of $10 for 2GB for each line on the plan. Unlimited data is available for an additional $20 per month for each line.
T-Mobile also offers one additional advantage over carriers like Sprint and Verizon - the ability to talk and use data simultaneously. T-Mobile’s iPhone pre-orders are set to officially go live on April 12. So, what do you think – are T-Mobile’s new contract-free plans enough to make you consider switching?