(Photo : Apple)
It was just a few days ago that T-Mobile customers everywhere got the news they've been waiting for: T-Mobile will start selling Apple products in 2013. While this definitely means the iPhone is involved, no specific models were mentioned. If T-Mobile does include the iPhone 5 in its lineup, here's what T-Mobile customers will be looking at in 2013.
To begin with, T-Mobile will be scrapping all device subsidies and switching over to its Value plans completely in 2013. This means that buyers will have to pay the full price of the phone upfront, or in installments, and can then receive lower monthly rates, which are often times calculated to include the price of the handset subsidy. Lower rates - sounds great right? Not so fast.
While T-Mobile will certainly improve its public image with Apple products lining retail stores, the price tag of a new iPhone 5 might be a major roadblock. Rather than looking at subsidized price tags of $200, $300, and $400, customers could be staring at price tags reading as high as $650, $750, and $850 (the current prices of the unlocked iPhone 5 through Apple). Of course, by the time the iPhone 5 releases on T-Mobile, the price might have gone down a bit, but T-Mobile will still have to work hard to convince the public that spending more upfront saves them money in the long run.
T-Mobile USA CEO John Legere may have a solution for that - offer the older iPhone. During Deutsche Telekom's Capital Markets day in Germany, Legere pulled out what looked like an iPhone 4S and proceeded to state it could be sold for $99.
"You may pay $99 for the most iconic device in the world, and then you may get 20 months worth of, call it $15-20 a month [on the device installment plan]. It's very cheap out of pocket, very low," said Legere recenty. "
"And at any point if you want to come back and trade in that phone, we will give you residual value, let you trade in that phone and stay on the contract service you have."
But say T-Mobile does offer the iPhone 5, T-Mobile customers do have LTE service to look forward to. T-Mobile is planning on rolling out LTE coverage in 2013, and while it won't cover as large an area as Verizon's, an iPhone 5 would give T-Mobile customers an attractive LTE option.
T-Mobile is also in the process of upgrading its networks to give iPhone users on its network faster speeds than the 2G a majority endure.
If T-Mobile does offer the iPhone 5 next year, would you purchase one?