Today, long time T-Mobile users can rejoice, because their exile in the iPhone-less wilderness is finally coming to an end, and some potentially exciting no contract, no subsidy plans are getting thrown into the mix as well.
As part of its financial statement released today, T-Mobile's German parent company Deutsche Telekom let slip that starting next year, T-Mobile will begin marketing Apple products in the USA. That means that all four of the major US wireless carriers will finally be competing for iPhone customers. At first there was a bit of confusion as to whether the deal included the iPhone or if it was limited to other Apple products like the iPad, but this afternoon T-Mobile USA CEO John Legere confirmed that both products are included in the deal.
In a separate but related move, T-Mobile announced that it's ending subsidized contract phone deals, and will switch entirely to what it calls "Value Plans." This means that you pay full price up front for the phone, but get a much better price for data and voice. This type of deal has been the norm in Europe for years, and tends to benefit people who don't insist on getting the latest device the moment it comes out.
The iPhone's hefty $650 retail price that could be a killer for T-Mobile's sales, but Legere says that T-Mobile may offer financing with a $99 down payment. Whether that's enough to convince the customers could depend on how good they are at doing some simple math, but at least in Europe, this sort of system has resulted in carriers like Free being able to offer glorious $25 no contract unlimited everything plans. We can dream.
No date for T-Mobile's Apple rollout was announced, but it probably won't be until the new
iPhone 6 iPhone 5GS iPhone 5S, or whatever it's called comes along.