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T-Mobile CEO Talks Subsidies, Confirms Plans to Sell iPhone

By - Source: GigaOm | B 9 comments

T-Mobile USA's CEO talks iPhone and subsidies.

T-Mobile's CEO has announced that it will be carrying Apple's iPhone come 2013. The news was revealed at Deutsche Telekom’s analyst conference in Germany this week. T-Mobile USA's John Legere said that the iPhone would be available to T-Mobile customers in 2013 but also revealed that the company plans to approach selling the iPhone in a way that is dramatically different to its competitors.

GigaOm says the CEO implied that T-Mobile would heavily finance the device, selling it for $99 and then charging $15 to $20 a month in payments over 20 months. This is despite Legere saying the network plans to move away from carrier subsidies next year. No subsidies would mean customers would have to spend hundreds of dollars purchasing their device up front. The alternative to that is a financing plan, as Legere discussed with the iPhone, that would see customers pay off the phone a little bit at a time. According to GigaOm, the advantage of doing away with subsidies is that T-Mobile can offer things like data and minutes for less.

T-Mobile has been left out in the cold in regards to the iPhone and Legere made it clear that he knows the network needs to carry the device. However, while he didn't talk a lot about the network's deal with Apple, he did suggest that the deal won't involve the same crazy volume commitments that Sprint is bound by. 

Still no word on when the iPhone will arrive on T-Mobile, but we're eager to see the networks new price models. CNet cites Legere as saying the network wants to shake things up and leave customers saying "I can't believe they did that."

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  • 1 Hide
    thillntn , December 7, 2012 10:36 PM
    Hopefully the new lte tmobile is working on will do the iphone, hspa+ isn't bad tho...we just switched from sprint due to a non existant 4g in chattanooga. sorry,we waited two years, times up! Good luck herding in the isheep t-mobile!
  • -1 Hide
    gouki146 , December 7, 2012 10:58 PM
    WTF? My friend bought 4 iphone 5's on black friday for $179 a piece for a 2-year contract w/ Verizon. This will cost $99 + $300 if $15 for 20 months or $400 if $20 for 20 months PLUS a 2-year contract? I have been a Tmobile customer since 2002 and this is a HORRIBLE idea. I may switch to ghetto Boost for $45 unlimited EVERYTHING if Tmobile doesnt subsidize phones AT ALL anymore.
  • 1 Hide
    ipwn3r456 , December 7, 2012 11:50 PM
    Too late T-Mobile. Already got a SGS3 already.
  • Display all 9 comments.
  • 0 Hide
    jafox1hardware , December 8, 2012 1:28 AM
    Is it my imagination or has anyone else notices that everywhere the iphone goes follows confusion, rate changes, change in company polices, technical support and service problems. I was with Nextel and then Sprint for about 10 years. For where I live and work it worked just fine for me and I was treated very well until Sprint got the iphone.

    Suddenly all new charges, plan changes they stop the premier program and unlimited tethering, no more purchasing phone on your account and dropped calls all the time. So I moved to T-Mobile, got my GS3 charged to my account got unlimited tethering, reasonable 4G and my bill is $40.00 cheaper every month, now here we go again. Mark my words just like Sprint the T-Mobile subscribers will suffer.

    As you see here there already beginning to set us up for the PORK

    I don’t have anything against apple or iphone users I use the GS3 but the carrier should not make people who don’t use iphone suffer. If the company experiences higher theft, data usage and higher support demands then charge the iphone user not the windows, android and or blackberry users.

    Forgive any punctuation discrepancies is hard when I’m angry

    Man! Where will I go now? Verizon’s to high, Sprint no longer an option and AT&T no way in HELL.
  • 1 Hide
    valkain , December 8, 2012 3:32 AM
    gouki146WTF? My friend bought 4 iphone 5's on black friday for $179 a piece for a 2-year contract w/ Verizon. This will cost $99 + $300 if $15 for 20 months or $400 if $20 for 20 months PLUS a 2-year contract? I have been a Tmobile customer since 2002 and this is a HORRIBLE idea. I may switch to ghetto Boost for $45 unlimited EVERYTHING if Tmobile doesnt subsidize phones AT ALL anymore.

    You must be completely disregarding the fact t-mobile plans are cheaper by default and give you the option of buying the phone outright and pay for the plan without subsidizing your phone. Or, you can pay more by having your phone subsidized. Most other carriers charge you MORE to begin with because they subsidize phones by default. The problem is, those carriers CONTINUE charging you the subsidized rates even after your phones been paid off.
  • 1 Hide
    freggo , December 8, 2012 9:45 AM
    I am a happy T-Mobile customer for years, use a Samsung flip phone.
    I just hope T-Mobile does not start now bothering me with iPhone upgrade offers.

    I am open to upgrade to the Samsung S4 however in spring :) 

  • 0 Hide
    nebun , December 8, 2012 7:51 PM
    lol...what took them so long?
  • 1 Hide
    keczapifrytki , December 10, 2012 2:49 AM
    They will basically get away from doing one-price-fits all plans like they have now with the Classic Plans and will instead push the Value Plans. In the Value Plans, you pay less per month (about $20 less per line) but you have to pay full price for the device or finance it. Most people will finance the device, so everyone's plan prices will be different depending on the phones they get. It is good for T-Mobile because they are guaranteed to get their money back for the subsidized phones in a relatively short amount of time and it will remind customers that these are not "free" or "cheap" phones but they actually retail for $500-$700.
    Oh, and from what I heard if you already have one of the old plans and want to get a new phone, you will be able to keep what you had but that might of course change.
  • 0 Hide
    amdwilliam1985 , December 10, 2012 5:16 PM
    I think this new idea might be great. I'm also a TMobile user, love their low cost, ~$140/month for a family plan of 5 lines. No one else can beat that with TMobile's coverage.

    I read an article about this new TMobile model, it mentioned that since TMobile is not a "seller" of the phone any more, they might stop with the carrier customization totally. That might be a great idea to Android users. Think about it. Future Galaxy S and Galaxy Note phones from TMobile will be exactly the same one they're launching internationally. This means less bloatwares and more timely upgrades(meaning OS upgrades are coming from OEM like Samsung rather than Carriers like AT&T and TMobile). With this model, and hopefully better compatible bands(1700 & 1900 HSPA+, didn't care about 4g LTE at all), you can buy any GSM phones and use it with TMobile at hopefully much lower monthly price. A bonus would be doing all of this without any contract at all ;) 
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