T-Mobile Adds HTC and Alcatel Phones, Cuts iPhone Prices
Meanwhile, perhaps in preparation for what is expected to be Apple's unveiling of a new iPhone 6 in early September, T-Mobile has cut the prices of its Apple iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c smartphones, according to new sale prices on T-Mobile's Website. The Apple iPhone 5s is now $600, or $48 off its previous price, while the Apple iPhone 5c is now $549.84, or $49.92 off of its previous price, according to the Website. Other smartphone models from other manufacturers are also on sale on the site, including the Samsung Galaxy S 5 at $610, or $50 off its previous price. The new phone models and lower iPhone prices come during what has been a busy month for T-Mobile. On Aug. 25, the company announced that customers of its existing $40 monthly Simple Starter cellular phone plans could quadruple the amount of data they can use—from 500MB up to 2GB—for an additional $5 per month. The new 2GB data offer is a limited-time promotion, and followed another limited-time data promotion that was unveiled earlier in August, when T-Mobile offered free unlimited mobile data for one year to any Simple Choice customer who gets a friend or relative to move his or her service from Sprint, AT&T or Verizon Wireless. That offer came just two weeks after a long-rumored T-Mobile merger with Sprint was called off. The new offer for 2GB of data for Simple Starter customers begins on Sept. 3, according to the company. There are no contracts for customers under the plans. T-Mobile unveiled the Simple Starter plan in April with the promise of no overage fees ever, according to an earlier eWEEK report. After 500MB, customers are pushed to a slower network.In the aftermath of the failed merger, T-Mobile has been going on the offensive for new customers, which it primarily hopes to poach from its biggest rivals: Sprint, AT&T and Verizon Wireless. Earlier this month, T-Mobile US claimed rights to the top spot in the growing prepaid wireless marketplace in the United States. T-Mobile US said in an announcement that it now has 15.64 million prepaid wireless customers, compared with 15.19 million such customers for rival Sprint. AT&T has 11.34 million prepaid customers, while Verizon Wireless reports 6.04 million prepaid customers, according to T-Mobile. In 2013, T-Mobile moved away from the industry-standard model of tying subsidized devices to two-year service contracts. It began offering monthly device financing plans; made it possible for customers to upgrade their devices more frequently; did away with international roaming fees for text messaging and data in more than 100 countries; and began offering 200MB of free data a month to anyone with a tablet that can access its network, encouraging people to use their tablets outside their homes. The company additionally offered to pay the early termination fees (ETFs) of any subscribers wanting to leave a Tier 1 carrier for T-Mobile, offering many people, especially on family plans, their first real, cost-free option to change networks.
The moves all follow a strategy the company has been taking since the failed merger possibility with Sprint was scuttled by Sprint earlier this month. At the same time that the merger plans were dropped, competitor Sprint simultaneously replaced its CEO, Dan Hesse, with Marcelo Claure.