Oh, T-mo, T-mo, T-mo… When will you learn that Apple is just no good for you, girl?
T-Mobile is, infamously, the last major national carrier to get the iPhone, largely as a consequence of its terrible network. It’s been asking people to bring their unlocked iPhones over to their service, but that’s been less than popular, for obvious reasons.
But now their long corporate nightmare is over. Apple is here with the iPhone to give it some cachet, finally:
[CEO John] Legere, speaking at an investor conference in Germany, was frustratingly light on details, but did confirm that T-Mobile would sell the iPhone. An earlier statement by parent Deutsche Telekom only said that Apple and T-Mobile would only bring out products next year — a vague declaration of their partnership. Apple confirmed the deal but didn’t add anything else.
How much of a good idea this is to T-Mobile is up in the air, honestly. Sprint, for example, saw huge subscriber growth, but lost $1.3 billion thanks to the iPhone’s brutal subsidies. Legere insists this time will be different, because instead of paying Apple huge subsidies and slowly getting that money back by charging customers a fee every month, T-Mobile will instead sell the iPhone for the full price up front with no contract as part of their “Value” plans.
T-Mobile is doing this across the board, by the way: Phone subsidies are officially ending at the carrier next year, which basically means it’s become Cricket except run by Germans. That may be off-set by the fact that T-Mobile is frantically overhauling its network to get its 4G up to snuff and working with the iPhone. But, hey, at least they’re overhauling their network.