From the looks of things, Apple is still not going to announce an iPhone for T-Mobile’s network during its big iPhone unveiling Wednesday.
How do we know?
Well, T-Mobile’s planning to start aggressively making a push to get owners of unlocked AT&T iPhones (off contract or bought free of contract) to start using T-Mobile’s network at a pretty big cost savings.
The company announced a promotion called “bring your own device” this week that allows customers to use with T-Mobile’s calling plans. T-Mobile estimates that more than 1 million iPhone users are running their AT&T phones on T-Mobile’s networks.
T-Mobile and AT&T use similar wireless technologies. Sprint and Verizon phones will not work on T-Mobile’s network. T-Mobile sees what it calls a “big opportunity” to make using an unlocked iPhone on its network better for customers.
T-Mobile says iPhone customers can save $50 a month using its network.
Here’s a recent T-Mobile release talking about the promotion:
T-Mobile has been a champion of “bring your own device” wireless with our affordable Value plans that separate the cost of wireless service from the purchase of a new phone. This means there are a lot of devices running on our network that we don’t sell in our stores, including more than 1M iPhones. We see a big opportunity to make the experience of bringing an unlocked iPhone to T-Mobile even better for customers.
That’s why, beginning September 12th, we’re stepping up our efforts to attract customers with unlocked iPhones to T-Mobile. Each of our branded retail stores will receive an iPhone 4s demo unit and our sales staff will start training to help customers set up their compatible iPhone. We’re also developing iOS versions of helpful T-Mobile applications like T-Mobile myAccount, T-Mobile Visual Voicemail and T-Mobile TV (we already offer an iOS version of our popular Bobsled application). Finally, we’ll begin testing incentive offers in select markets and (in all markets) marketing the benefits of bringing an unlocked iPhone to T-Mobile, including:
- Unlimited data: T-Mobile offers worry-free, unlimited nationwide data.
- Cost Savings: Customers with unlocked iPhones can save $50/month compared to AT&T*.
- Nationwide coverage that’s only getting better: T-Mobile’s voice network reaches 96% of all Americans, and later this year, as we transform our network, introducing 4G (HSPA+) service in our iPhone-compatible spectrum, these unlocked iPhones will get a significant speed boost where these improvements are available.
In fact, we’re already starting to turn up 4G HSPA+ service in our 1900 MHz spectrum. With sites already live in cities like Seattle, Las Vegas, Washington DC and the New York metro area, don’t be surprised to hear reports of iPhone “speed sightings.” We expect to have these improvements deployed in a large number of markets later this year.
Our internal tests of unlocked iPhone 4S devices running over 4G (HSPA+) on our 1900 network recorded on average 70% faster download speeds than iPhone 4S devices on AT&T’s network.
Today, we don’t sell the iPhone, but we do have something worth selling to people who have one. Our message to iPhone customers is simple: bring your unlocked iPhone to T-Mobile and save.
*Savings based on comparison of T-Mobile $69.99/mo Unlimited Talk, Text and Data plan against AT&T Unlimited Talk, Text, and 3GB Smartphone Data plan. Does not include taxes, fees, or promotional offers. Plan features and limitations vary.
Verizon and Sprint iPhones will not work on our network; other iPhones may have limited functionality. See stores for details. iPhone is a registered trademark of Apple, Inc.