T-Mobile USA will offer Apple devices beginning in 2013, Deutsche Telekom CEO Rene Obermann told an investor conference in Berlin last week. T-Mobile USA CEO John Legere is promising a “dramatically different” experience with the iPhone when it comes to his company next year.
Legere hinted that T-Mobile would carry the iPhone, saying that customers would pay “$99 for the most iconic device in the world.” Customers would pay an additional $15 to $20 a month for 20 months, easing the one-time cost. Customers could trade in the device at any time and get fair trade-in value.
In fact, T-Mobile USA will eliminate all device subsidies from its rate plans in 2013. Currently T-Mobile offers Classic plans that subsidize the device and require a two-year contract and Value plans that let customers pay the full cost of their smartphones or pay it off in monthly installments.
T-Mobile’s pre-paid “Value” plan requires no-contract.
T-Mobile USA has been refarming its 1900MHz spectrum to make it compatible with the HSPA+ 3G radio in the iPhone. It has about 15 markets prepared so far. It will eventually use its 1700MHz AWS spectrum for a 4G LTE network that is expected to go live in the middle of 2013.
With about 33 million customers, T-Mobile could sell 4 million to 5 million iPhones in the first 12 months after the launch, according to RBC analyst Amit Daryanani.
T-Mobile is currently trialing GoSmart Mobile, a prepaid-only network that uses data speed, not caps, as the incentive to jump to higher tiers, reports Fierce Wireless. Paying $30 per month offers unlimited calling and texting with no internet access, while $35 a month includes unlimited 2G data and $45 upgrades to 3G.