T-Mobile has always been a strong proponent for Android. It teamed up with Google to launch the very first Android phone (the HTC G1) back in 2008 and is currently the only carrier to offer the new Nexus 4 on contract. In its smartphone line-up you could always find a plethora of strong Android based contenders, with one infamous smartphone (the one that shall not be named) interestingly absent. Well, all that is set to change in 2013. In an interview today, T-Mobile’s CEO John Legere informed the press that they will begin selling Apple products in 2013, including Apple’s iPhone 5 and the rest of the gang. What’s more interesting is that T-Mobile will be selling these (and all other) devices completely unsubsidized from now on. This is a dramatic move for a carrier, and the first of its kind for one of the big four. Typically carriers sell phones at significantly reduced costs to buyers and make up the money by charging more for monthly service fees over the two-year contract. T-Mobile is bucking the system and plans to sell phones at the full retail price (phones can be as pricey as $800!) while offering a lower monthly service fee. The strange thing about this plan is that you’ll still need to sign the dotted line and commit to a two-year contract. Personally, if I were planning on buying an unsubsidized phone, I’d go with a no-contract plan like Straight Talk’s $45 unlimited plan (month to month).
Are any of you willing to sign a two year contract if your monthly rates are lower? Or would you just go with Straight Talk and other no-contract service providers?
We love to pay as little as possible for our Android devices (especially if we’re on a 2-year contract) and will look for any (and every) deal or break we can get. However, while the majority of consumers live off subsidized devices, there are some who believe that mobile carriers who subsidize devices also hurt the mobile industry as a whole. While speaking at the GeekWire Summit in Seattle, Washington, T-Mo Chief Marketing Officer Cole Brodman believes subsidizing phones is a major problem and if he had it his way, would “wave his hand and wipe out subsidies.”
Brodman gives his reasoning for his thoughts and beliefs on subsidies while also talking about T-Mobile’s strengths. He states subsidies “actually distorts what devices actually cost and it causes OEMs, carriers — everybody to compete on different playing fields.” He also adds “it causes consumers to devalue completely the hardware they are using.” During the same talk at the summit, Brodman took some time to pump up how great T-Mobile is despite not having the iPhone and no plans to sell the device in the near future. He was asked about if T-Mobile can survive without selling the iPhone and here were his thoughts:
“Yes we can. We have fantastic alternate choices. And I think those (Android, Blackberry, Windows) devices — whether it is through the app experiences, through the network experiences or through the devices themselves — do things that rival the iPhone — and in many cases — do them better than the iPhone. So, I absolutely think we can be successful.”
Tell us how you really feel Brodman. What do you all think? Is it time for a subsidy-free future or do you folks prefer having your cheaper phones (while still being locked into multi-year contracts)? Sound off in the Comments section below or in our Forums.
Remember awhile back, when we were putting an estimate on the Samsung Galaxy Tab on T-Mobile? Well, it looks like T-Mobile has - inadvertently - confirmed this price on a new 2-year commitment. The price also requires a $50 mail-in rebate.
Have commitment issues? Looks like T-Mobile is also flying fast and free with their offer of an unsubsidized option for $599.99 as well. We’re going to be seeing this little gem on T-Mo tomorrow, so get your geek hats on, and be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments!