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T-Mobile USA definitely getting the iPhone, may sell it with new pricing model

T-Moible USA definitely getting the iPhone, may sell it with new pricing model

The iPhone is indeed coming to T-Mobile USA. While it was announced earlier today that the fourth-place mobile carrier in the U.S. would start carrying Apple products in 2013, there was no confirmation of the iPhone. T-Mobile CEO John Legere said at Deutsche Telekom’s analyst conference that starting in 2013, T-Mobile would sell all phones, including the iPhone, on their unsubsidized Value Plans. These plans have lower rates than subsidized plans, while selling the phones at a higher initial price.

Seeing as the unsubsidized iPhone 5 starts at $650, this might seem like an odd move, because, though it would be cheaper in the long run, people are more inclined to pay larger amounts of money over time if they can get a low up front cost. But T-Mobile might have a plan for that. Kevin Fitchard reports for GigaOM:

But T-Mobile has something up its sleeve. Legere said that T-Mobile would offer the iPhone in a unique way. He implied that T-Mobile could heavily finance the device, selling it for $99 and then charging $15 to $20 a month in payments over 20 months. That kind of financing plan, however, would look very much like subsidized contract plan to the customer.

A date for availability of the iPhone on T-Mobile USA has yet to be announced. It could be that Apple wants T-Mobile to have its LTE network up and running, before they carrier launches the iPhone, and that is slated for the latter half of 2013. If T-Mobile is able to sell an LTE-enabled iPhone where the new model starts at $99, they will have set themselves apart from Verizon, AT&T and Sprint, something that it desperately needs to do. They may not make as much money per phone as the other carriers, but if they can attract enough customers with pricing, then that may not be much of an issue. We’ll have to wait and see when the iPhone launches on T-Mobile USA sometime next year.

Source: GigaOM

Joseph Keller

Joseph Keller is a news reporter for iMore. He's also chilling out and having a sandwich.

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There are 5 comments. Add yours.

cctpitts01 says:

If they start screwing with the price that really going to suck seeing that no other carrier does that, I have never been a fan how T-Mobile has been doing that to there subs to me its confusing how they do it.

Patrick Sweeney1 says:

It might have one major difference from subsidizing...
No 2 year contract. You can leave any time.
However, the payment plan on your phone might be independent and you're still responsible for paying off the phone one way or another.
This will be especially lucrative to customers if the phone is usable on another network, such as AT&T. Customers will perceive they can try T-Mobile and if it doesn't work out..go to AT&T, iPhone in hand.

miller7796 says:

The value plans still have a 2-year contract. http://www.t-mobile.com/shop/Packages/ValuePackages.aspx Click See Data Plan Terms at the bottom of the page. But yes, if you left before the phone was paid off, you would still be billed the balance, plus any applicable ETFs.

Bolt473 says:

Maybe this will encourage Apple (and other device manufacturers) to lower the cost of their phones. There's no reason why a 64GiB GSM iPhone 5 should cost $20 more than a 64GiB GSM iPad WiFi+4G.

Obsidian71 says:

Yes there is. Phones have to provide voice support for their cellular chips while data only tablets do not. That means additional hardware.