T-Mobile to entice unlocked iPhone owners to sign up for its network with in-store support, marketingAlex Wagner - Senior News Editor
T-Mobile is currently the only major U.S. carrier that doesn't officially offer the iPhone, but that doesn't mean that Magenta won't stop trying to court iOS fans onto its network. The carrier announced today that, starting on September 12, each T-Mobile store will feature an iPhone 4S demo unit along with trained sales staff that are meant to help existing iPhone owners set up their devices for use on T-Mobile. T-Mobile also plans to begin marketing the benefits of using an unlocked iPhone on its network, which it says includes unlimited data, cost savings (T-Mo claims its unlocked iPhone users can save $50 per month over a comparable AT&T plan) and coverage that will soon feature HSPA+ service that's compatible with the iPhone. Along with all of that, T-Mobile is working on iOS versions of its apps, like T-Mobile myAccount, and will also be testing incentive offers in select markets.
T-Mobile says that it already serves over one million iPhones on its network, but since the magenta carrier doesn't actually sell Apple's handset, it looks like it'll now be pushing a campaign to get customers to either buy an unlocked iPhone or get a carrier-locked model unlocked for use on T-Mobile. While an unlocked iPhone can be quite expensive compared to the subsidized versions, AT&T did recently begin unlocking out-of-contract iPhones, so some customers could either jump from AT&T to T-Mobile once their contract is up or purchase an unlocked iPhone used from an AT&T customer.
It's also worth noting that T-Mobile says that its 1900MHz HSPA+ spectrum, which an unlocked iPhone can access, is live at sites in Seattle, Las Vegas, Washington D.C. and the New York metro area. T-Mobile definitely seems to be getting aggressive in its attempts to convince iPhone users to move to its network, and it'll be interesting to see if the in-store demo units and trained staffers can convince more people to make the jump. Do any of you currently use an iPhone on T-Mobile?