At an event on Tuesday, T-Mobile
an iPhone it hopes will raise its ranking from the position of No. 4 U.S. carrier. The model is designed to take advantage of the company's new LTE network that T-Mobile says it's building across the country.
Unlike other iPhone models, T-Mobile's unit will benefit from being able to "fall back" to their current HSPA+ 4G network speeds instead of the 2G or 3G back-ups that other carriers use.
The T-Mobile iPhone will be among the first to be priced under its new "no contract" scheme. That means the iPhone - as well as the
Galaxy Note II, the
Z10 (which went on sale Tuesday), the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S IV (expected May 1st) and the
One will all sell for $99 down and $20 per month for 24 months.
This idea is part of T-Mobile's plan for simplifying how consumers buy and pay for a phone. They call themselves the "un-carrier". Unlike the other major carriers, T-Mobile is offering no-contract plans with unlimited voice, text and messaging plus a minimum of 500 KB of data for $50/month. Additional data will be added at cost in 2 GB increments.
T-Mobile estimates that after two years, users will be done paying for their phone, thereby eliminating those costs until a consumer chooses to buy a new phone. Comparing their new plans with the competition (they used
(T - Get Report)
as their example) the company estimates the savings as more than $1,000 over that two year span.
At the press event, T-Mobile CEO Legere said the iPhone pricing plan would help the company stabilize its post-paid subscriber base after chronic market share losses to AT&T and
(VZ - Get Report)
In recent statements, both MetroPCS and T-Mobile said they continue to support the proposed merger and see integration as benefitting the financial standing of both wireless providers.
Paulson & Co. and PSAM declined to comment beyond public statements when queried on developments to the proposed MetroPCS and T-Mobile merger.
-- Written by Antoine Gara in New York