T-Mobile To Kill Off Device Subsidies In 2013
T-Mobile is really hitting the press today. They’ve announced a few new HSPA+ markets, the fact they they will finally be carrying the iPhone, and now, T-Mobile’s CEO has confirmed that they will be eliminating all device subsidies in 2013 *brain explodes*.
I have to admit, T-Mobile doesn’t seem afraid to stick its neck out. Offering strictly unsubsidized pricing is something Americans aren’t accustomed to and is quite a risky move. Although it may be cheaper in the long run, it’s going to be hard to convince someone to purchase a device for $600 when they can get it on another carrier for $99.
Of course there’s always T-Mobile’s installment plan, which in my opinion is no different than a subsidy. Consumers will be expected to pay a down payment for the device and then continue to pay for it in monthly installments.
The only people I really benefiting are those who can either afford to purchase a device outright, or those who already own a device and simply want to add service. Everyone else will be no better off than they already were.
If nothing, it’s very European of them, and one has to wonder how they’re going to sell iPhone 5’s at full retail when they can’t even offer users 4G LTE.
Now, a device like the Nexus 4… that’s a retail price I can deal with. If we could get all OEMs to manufacture devices at prices below $400, then I can see a surge in consumers paying full retail, but until that happens, I expect the majority of Americans to opt for subsidized pricing or installment plans.