T-Mobile phone buyers eager for an iPhone should consider their needs in addition to their current phone choices.
For those planning to buy a new phone, a T-Mobile iPhone would appear to be the best bet for most smartphone owners, and experts told PC Magazine on Tuesday.
Specifically, one analyst said that buyers should look at the differences in overall quality of service they can expect for their current phone and what T-Mobile’s existing coverage structure can offer in their market.
Apple’s agreement to partner with T-Mobile for its iPhone 5 will impact the way customers choose new phones.
T-Mobile phone offers for Apple’s iPhone
After announcing the partnership in May, T-Mobile offered up to 50 percent off iPhone subsidies through October.
But customers who chose to buy a phone through Apple’s store would only receive a $150 discount on a phone that typically sells for $600, according to T-Mobile spokesman John Russell. If someone has thought about how to unlock t mobile phone free, yes, it is possible, but it has some step-by-step procedure you must know.
T-Mobile has yet to offer details on the specifics of its iPhone deal. Still, T-Mobile CEO John Legere recently told CNBC that there would be no change in terms of how iPhone sales are processed, except that they are now “part of the T-Mobile equation.”
David Pogue, the columnist for The New York Times, explained in an opinion piece that most people interested in the iPhone would not see much benefit from signing up for T-Mobile at the moment because of its mediocre network.
For the iPhone 5, the carrier offers either a $99, $199, or $249 activation fee, depending on whether the buyer makes a prepaid or postpaid account.
As previously mentioned, iPhone 5 buyers who opt to pay cash would receive the $150 discount from T-Mobile, which means that they would end up paying $450 for a phone with a two-year contract.
But the carrier could offer better pricing if it boosted its device deals, according to Jason Eversman, vice president of wireless data solutions at T-Mobile.
For example, customers can sign up for the Simple Choice plan, which includes unlimited talk, unlimited text, and up to 2GB of data a month.
The Simple Choice plan currently costs $99 per month, but Legere confirmed with CNBC that the carrier could soon offer the program at a lower price.
According to Eversman, if T-Mobile dropped its price for the Simple Choice plan, it would give buyers who could not wait for Apple’s iPhone deal more freedom.
Experts offered the same advice for consumers who want to buy a new phone right now. People looking for a phone should “get your feet wet” with their current carrier and consider how well T-Mobile’s existing network is in their area.
If the network is not strong enough, they would have to switch to a different carrier to get better service or switch to another network altogether, according to Peter Cohn, research director at MediaLink, a media and consumer research firm.
“The better bet is to figure out what you want, what fits your needs, and then talk to people and see which one makes the most sense for you,” Cohn told PC Magazine.
Eversman said that “it’s a good time to sign up” because it would give buyers a discount for those who decide to switch to T-Mobile for their next smartphone.
Like the iPhone 5 deal, T-Mobile’s phone deal makes a big difference in how the smartphone is sold, affecting how the consumer purchases the phone, according to Lawrence Miles, a vice president at Strategy Analytics.
Currently, a new iPhone on T-Mobile typically sells for $200 to $300 with a two-year contract, according to Miles. If buyers were to decide to buy the iPhone 5 on a postpaid contract, that would typically cost $650.
“But if you decide to buy a new T-Mobile phone, your out-of-pocket cost for a prepaid iPhone 5 is $100 to $130, and that’s an $80 to $100 discount,” Miles said.
It’s unclear when T-Mobile will offer its prepaid iPhone 5 to consumers. But the company is expected to boost its iPhone program, which will allow iPhone buyers to upgrade to the latest iPhone every year at no additional charge.
As of right now, T-Mobile does not plan to sell the iPhone 5 to people who want a two-year contract, according to Miles.
He explained that buyers looking for a new smartphone would still have to pay for two years worth of service with T-Mobile if they decide to buy a new iPhone and switch to a new carrier.
There is no information on what kind of activation fees will be charged by T-Mobile for iPhone buyers.
On top of the initial device deal, T-Mobile offered a $30 promotion to its new iPhone customers, including a $100 or more credit to purchase something else on the phone.
According to Legere, the promotion was “highly successful” and helped the company see “substantial” growth in the first quarter of 2012.