It is confirmed: T-Mobile is finally getting the iPhone, as Bloomberg, GigaOm and others report on official statements from the companies.
For the legions of i-fans hoping to see T-Mobile get the Apple handset, this is a colossal win. Years of waiting for Magenta to carry the iPhone reached a head when Sprint, the last of the other three major carriers, finally got the device last year, leaving Tmo as the odd man out. And the brand-new deal struck between Deutche Telekom and Apple seemed to skirt any mention of this one particular product at first.
Well, you can rest easy now, Tmo iPhone hopefuls. That Apple inventory heading to your carrier does indeed include the iPhone. “A certain number of people wouldn’t come to our stores if we didn’t have the iPhone,” says T-Mobile CEO John Legere. “We worked very hard for a deal that made sense for us.” That deal, however, is a little different than what the other carriers are offering — a subsidized device. In other words, T-Mobile customers will have to purchase the iPhone at full retail cost, regardless of contract options.
And for that, cash-strapped customers who can’t afford $650 or more may see this as a fail. However, for these patrons, the carrier has something up its sleeve. It sees this as a chance to disrupt the industry, by making full retail pricing more palatable via installment plans. By breaking up the expense in chunks, more people would be able to afford the big asking price for these devices.
In actuality, if you do the math, this cost is actually less expensive over time than subsidized pricing, for both the consumers and the carriers. This, however, may require a little education for the average smartphone shopper, which is something Tmo will probably tackle in the new ad campaigns it’s already prepping.
What do you think of T-Mobile offering unsubsidized iPhones? Does this model have a chance of taking off, even influencing other device lines at other carriers? Weigh in with your thoughts in the comments.