The date is out for Deutsche Telekom’s (DTEGY.PK) T-Mobile to get Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone 5 up and running on its network, announced at the company’s special event on Tuesday. At the same time as customers will finally be able to make calls from their new iPhones, they can also start on T-Mobile’s “Uncarrier” plan.
Last year, T-Mobile lost 2.1 million subscribers, and that signaled to the company that it was time for a change. In order to differentiate itself from other carriers, T-Mobile decided it would create a plan in which customers didn’t have to sign onto the industry standard, 2-year contracts that were previously offered, but they would no longer be offered phone subsidies. Rather, if needed, customers will have to buy phones using an installment plan.
As a second part of its makeover, the company worked out a way to get the iPhone 5 working on its network. This was no easy task, as the carriers 4G network was different from other carriers’, and no iPhone 5 models were designed to support it. So, T-Mobile had to rework some of its network to offer 4G LTE in order to support the iPhone 5, which has the potential to bring additional customers to the carrier.
The new service could also be a good deal for Apple, as it will serve as another avenue to increase iPhone sales. Additionally, T-Mobile’s altered approach to customer plans might make the iPhone 5 more approachable, as now contract-shy people can become iPhone owners more comfortably.
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The new iPhone will be available to T-Mobile customers on April 12, and pre-orders will begin April 5. But, it’s still uncertain to what degree the company will benefit from its change to the status quo. T-Mobile may have made a move to differentiate itself from the big-league carriers, like Verizon (NYSE:VZ) and AT&T (NYSE:T), but it’s taken a step towards some of the smaller carriers, like Virgin Mobile, which also offers no-contract, monthly plans. As T-Mobile moves further into this system, its results will clearly show its efficacy.
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