After announcing that T-Mobile is close to activating nearly 2 million iPhones on its network, Chief Executive John Legere told Reuters, the carrier will start selling the iPhone in about three to four months. T-Mobile also plans to eliminate cellphone subsidies in an effort to offer its customer cheaper plans and more flexibility. Legere promised the Apple experience would be "dramatically different" for T-Mobile subscribers, and believes smartphone users will benefit from avoiding long contracts and restrictive data plans.
T-Mobile hopes the contract free iPhone will convince AT&T and Verizon Wireless customers to switch carriers, and believes its partnership with Apple will increase its market share by 5% or more. All the major U.S. carriers currently offer smartphones at a subsidized price, but customers are forced to agree to long contracts that prohibit them from upgrading their devices. T-Mobile's users will be able to freely exchange or sell their older devices once the subsidies and contracts are out of the picture.
With its back against the wall, T-Mobile has decided to shake up the mobile market by putting an end to subsidized smartphones. All four major U.S. carriers offer smartphones at a subsidized price, but customers must agree to long contracts which prohibit them from upgrading their devices. T-Mobile believes ditching the subsidy model favored by AT&T, Sprint and Verizon will appeal to customers who are tired of the restrictions. Chief Executive John Legere said under the new model customers will be able to freely upgrade their devices by trading them in.
Legere did not say when the carrier plans to rollout its new policy, but promised the Apple experience would be "dramatically different" for T-Mobile customers. T-Mobile also managed to avoid agreeing to the same $15.5 billion iPhone deal Sprint signed up for last year, and the move will help T-Mobile cut back on upfront costs.
T-Mobile has begun distributing nanoSIMs to retailers eight days before the purported Apple iPhone 5 event is supposed to take place. iFun (via 9to5Mac) posted an image of the Telekom (T-Mobile) nanoSIM being distributed to European retailers.
Apple's 40 percent smaller nanoSIM card design was approved by the European Telecommunications Institute (ETSI) in June. It was originally believed Apple would not use the smaller SIMs in the iPhone 5, but months later it was confirmed that European carriers were stocking up on cards in anticipation of the new iPhone's release. Meaning Apple's next-generation iPhone should be the first device to utilize the standard.
Deutsche Telekom has begun accepting pre-orders for a device they don't even know exists yet. Without any knowledge of a release date, name, or hardware specifications the German carrier started handing out golden tickets for the next generation Apple handset.
A spokesman for the carrier told Bloomberg that customers can visit Deutsche Telekom stores to receive their ticket. The strict first-come, first-served system allows one pass per customer and is not being advertised. This is the first time that Deutsche Telekom will not be the exclusive carrier during a new iPhone launch in Germany. Other German carriers began offering the iPhone last October.