Speaking at CES in Las Vegas on Wednesday, John Legere, the CEO of Deutsche Telekom AG's T-Mobile USA unit, said that company will begin selling the Apple iPhone in about three to four months. The change to all Value plans, meaning no device subsidies period, will take place in a similar timeframe, he added.
They're all, I would call them, in three to four months as opposed to six to nine months.That is interesting timing, as recent rumors pointed to an iPhone 5S release in June; that would mean T-Mobile might see lackluster demand as people wait for the 5S.
T-Mobile USA currently offers both Classic and Value plans. Classic plans subsidize the device and require a two-year contract, as with other carriers. Value plans let customers pay the full cost of their smartphones or pay it monthly in exchange for lower monthly service rates. Customers can also bring their own devices to the network.
The company hopes that the changes to its service will attract Verizon, Sprint, and AT&T customers.
Carriers typically subsidize the cost of devices to lock a customer into a contract. That means that the fully-priced 16GB iPhone 5 ($649) can be sold at $199. This applies to other phones, such as Android, as well.
According to T-Mobile USA's earlier statements, customers may be able to purchase the iPhone for $99 and then pay monthly installments of $15 or $20 over the next 20 months, but that isn't written in stone. The key perk for customers is a) no contract, b) the ability to buy a new device at a fairly reasonable price at any time.
In addition, if a customer has not fully paid off his prior device -- well, you can see where that is going. The device installments, too, will be on top of the Value plan pricing. It's unclear at this time what the new Value plan pricing will be.