Last of all the major carriers, T-Mobile announced during their annual investor conference they will carry the iPhone in 2013. This is surely good news for T-Mobile customers as well as T-Mobile themselves, since no doubt many folks interested in T-Mobile’s low price point for voice and data plans will likely be attracted now that the iPhone can be had on their service. Also announced at the conference was that T-Mobile plans to end carrier subsidies for their phones, likely meaning that new customers may have to pony up between $300-700 for a new phone (depending on device).
There is no firm date for when the iPhone will be offered, as well as how much it might cost on T-Mobile. If it is released in the middle of next year, it might coincide with the release of the so-called iPhone 5S, if Apple does do a mid year refresh to its flagship device. Without a carrier subsidy, the iPhone would probably run somewhere in the $399 range to start however. Speaking of removing carrier subsidies, this represents another change in the way the mobile wireless industry does business, and is something that was first embodied by Google offering their Nexus 4 device unlocked for as little as $299. This selling of devices direct to consumers (see our article here) is something new to the US shores, but is fairly common in Europe and the UK where carriers operate much differently. If T-Mobile is looking to stand out from the crowd, this new business model might be a really good start. It would likely take the American smartphone buyer a while to get used to, but the profits it brings to the carrier and the freedom it gives the buyer make this situation a true “win-win” scenario.
*Source: Digital Trends