April 10, 2013
T-Mobile Offers Cheap iPhone 5 In Trade-In Program
Michael Harper for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online
T-Mobile now carries one of the most popular smartphones in the world: the iPhone 5. To support this new phone, they´ve also introduced some generous service plans at cut-rate prices. So what´s a struggling fourth-place carrier to do next to win new subscribers?
Ask for their old iPhones, of course.
Big Pink announced today that they will extend their iPhone trade-in program and give credit to customers who are willing to bring in their devices and their money from other carriers. After arriving to the iPhone party about three years too late, T-Mobile has plenty of catching up to do if they want to keep up with AT&T and Verizon, the nation´s two largest carriers. Offering plans with unlimited data and voice for $70 is a good start, but T-Mobile is also pitching to a crowd who have likely been with their current carrier for a few years.
While it´s always nice to entertain cheaper options, it´s even easier to keep with the status quo. Thus the nation´s number four carrier plans to lure customers in with a lower monthly bill and then persuade them to make the leap with an easy switching process.
“Our message to iPhone 4S and iPhone 4 customers is simple: bring in your device and trade up to iPhone 5 on T-Mobile,” said Mike Sievert, chief marketing officer for T-Mobile in a statement.
From now until Father´s Day, iPhone-toting customers will be able to trade in their phone for a new iPhone 5 and a lower monthly bill. AT&T customers with an iPhone 5 might not see the need to trade in their phones, of course. Their phone already has the radios to work with T-Mobile´s network, though the carrier might argue that even this customer should trade up to a T-Mo iPhone for the added benefit of HD Voice, a feature no other carrier offers at the moment.
Sprint and Verizon customers, on the other hand, would need to simply cash in their device in order to make the switch to the GSM side.
For instance, a Verizon customer could bring their iPhone 4S into the nearest T-Mobile store and swap it for a new iPhone 5 and up to $120, depending on the condition of the device. This customer can then have their monthly device fee — the closest thing to a contract the carrier offers — lowered until the phone is paid off.
As a part of their new no-contract plans, T-Mobile is offering unlocked iPhones. Yet customers without liquid assets and a spare $579 (the cost of a subsidy-free T-Mo iPhone) can buy a new iPhone 5 for $99.99 and then pay a monthly device fee of $20 a month. Either way you slice it, the iPhone costs less on T-Mobile.
This hypothetical Verizon customer can trade in their 4S for an iPhone 5 with no up-front fee and a $120 credit spread out over 24 months, leaving them with a mere $15 device fee.
An AT&T customer with an iPhone 4 can bring their phone in to T-Mo for a free upgrade to an iPhone 5 and $24 trade-in credit or $19-per-month device fee.
T-Mobile is still pushing their new, contract-free plans as well. The Simple Choice plan offers unlimited talk and text and 500 MB of data for $50 each month. For an extra $10 a month, customers can add 2 GB of data and for an extra $20, customers can have unlimited data.
Hypothetically, the aforementioned Verizon customer could walk out of the T-Mobile store with a brand new iPhone 5 and unlimited talk, text and data for $85 a month for 24 months. Once this time is up and they´ve paid off their iPhone, their bill drops back to $70.
However, there´s still one aspect worth considering in a switch to T-Mobile.
Though they´re allegedly working hard to roll out new 4G LTE networks across America, their network isn´t quite as expansive as those of their chief competitors AT&T or Verizon. To their credit, Big Pink says they plan to provide LTE to 100 million customers by “midyear” and 200 million by the end of 2013. Their 4G HSPA+ network, on the other hand, already reaches 225 million people. If you live in one of the seven LTE cities or another area awash in pink connectivity, now might be the time to take another look at your current mobile provider´s offerings.