Wednesday, 9 January 2013

[Gizmo -] T-Mobile to carry iPhone, but without subsidies

Gizmo - has posted a new item, 'T-Mobile to carry iPhone,
but without subsidies'

Yes, the iPhone is officially coming to T-Mobile in the U.S. But the device will
probably be much pricierat least upfrontthan it is at competing wireless

John Legere, CEO of T-Mobiles parent company, Deutsche Telekom AG, told Reuters
this weekthat the U.S. wireless carrier would begin carrying the iPhone in three
or four months. But the phone will arrive at the same time that the company
eliminates subsidies for smartphonesmeaning that the basic 16GB iPhone 5, which
sells for $200 at AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon, might go for the full $649 cost
that Apple charges for unlocked and contract-free phones.

The upside? Normally, those companies get the subsidies paid back during the
life of the two-year contracts that they require customers to sign when buying
the phones. Without the upfront subsidies, Legere suggested to Reuters, T-Mobile
can offer cheaper and more flexible smartphone service plans than its rivals:
Some customers might decide its worth paying more upfront in exchange for
cheaper rates or shorter service contracts.

Another difference-maker for T-Mobile: It offers unlimited data plansan option
that, among its iPhone-carrying rivals, only Sprint has. The result? T-Mobile
might be selling the same device as its rivals, but it might end up offering a
very different customer experienceone that can help it gain ground after more
than a half-decade on the iPhone sidelines.

Legere said that his company's different way of doing business could help
T-Mobile increase its smartphone market share by 5 percent, he said. "If the old
industry structure chooses to ignore what we do," Legere told Reuters, "That's a

Legeres comments come a month after Apple and T-Mobile acknowledged they were
forming a product alliance but declined to offer details. Left unsaid: How the
iPad and iPad mini might factor into all of this. We speculated last month that
the tablets might factor into T-Mobile's partnership with Apple, but nothing in
Legere's comments this week pointed in that direction.

Either way, Legere's comments qualify as big newsand the end of an era:T-Mobiles
addition means all the major American carriers will soon offer the iPhone.

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