When T-Mobile finally began offering Apple’s iPhone 5 last month it did so in dramatic fashion, undercutting AT&T by $70. The iPhone 5 could be had for a down payment of $99 with monthly payments of $20 for 24 months, totaling a competitive $579.99. The launch price was only part of a one-month promotional offer, however. According to a leaked document obtained by TmoNews, a 16GB iPhone 5 will now require a down payment of $149, totaling $629 after 24 months. T-Mobile would later confirm the report. Both the 32GB and 64GB models are also set to see down payment increases to $249 and $349, respectively, and monthly payments for all three models will remain unchanged at $20 per month.
Apple issued a software update last month to help bring unlocked iPhones to T-Mobile’s network. The update allowed unlocked GSM iPhone 5 handsets to access the carrier’s service, however some users reported experiencing slower than normal speeds on T-Mobile’s 1900MHz band. TmoNews reports that developers Joseph Brown and Sky Zangas were able to hack the carrier update and increase HSPA+ speeds to their normal levels. The update can be done to both unlocked AT&T iPhone 5 units and T-Mobile’s own iPhone 5, and it doesn’t require the device to be jailbroken. TmoNews put together step-by-step instructions that can be viewed at the link below.
In case you haven’t noticed, T-Mobile CEO John Legere isn’t like most wireless industry executives. For one, he’s actually entertaining to listen to because he’s not afraid to trash his competitors in candid and at times profane terms. This is all part of a carefully constructed strategy, however, and a profile on Legere at The Wall Street Journal makes clear that Legere thinks that he needs to draw attention to himself if he’s going to have any chance of drawing customers away from Verizon and AT&T. In particular the Journal notes that after becoming T-Mobile CEO, Legere “grew his hair out, traded his ties for T-shirts and has started sprinkling his public comments with profanity” to make himself stand out. More →
T-Mobile US on Wednesday posted first-quarter financial results for the pre-merger T-Mobile USA, which saw earnings and revenue continue to slide. Adjusted EBITDA of $1.2 billion was down more than 7% from the first quarter last year, and revenue sank 7% to $4.7 billion. The carrier finished the March quarter with approximately 34 million subscribers, an increase of about 579,000 customers. T-Mobile added 3,000 net branded subscribers but it lost 199,000 net postpaid customers in the quarter. More →
In move that Sigmund Freud would certainly approve of, T-Mobile has released a new ad that claims its network “pipes” are able to gush out more data at a faster rate than AT&T’s, which can apparently only muster a slow trickle. The point of the new ad seems to be that T-Mobile’s network can give iPhone 5 users faster data service despite having very limited LTE availability because it’s not as “overcrowded” as AT&T’s, which is just a nifty way of saying that AT&T has tens of millions more subscribers. T-Mobile has made AT&T its biggest target for ridicule in its “UNcarrier” campaign where it’s been trying to redefine itself as a more consumer-friendly wireless carrier. AT&T so far has responded to T-Mobile’s barbs with a one-word response of “whatever.” A video of the ad is posted below. More →
T-Mobile USA and MetroPCS are no more. In their place we now find T-Mobile US, the merged entity set to begin trading as TMUS. The Associated Press reported that the acquisition was set to be completed after the closing bell on Tuesday, and the deal is now done; the newly formed entity enters the fray with a market capitalization of about $17 billion. T-Mobile also added 9 million subscribers to its coffers with the deal, so its customer count has now climbed to 43 million — which still makes it the No.4 carrier in the United States. MetroPCS investors are netting $4.08 per share from the deal, and they will also receive half a share of T-Mobile US for each share of MetroPCS common stock they had owned, resulting in a combined 26% stake in the new company.
The latest Kantar smartphone report had many interesting tidbits about Windows Phone and iOS market share trends, but perhaps the biggest bombshell was buried in the section about U.S. mobile carriers. T-Mobile’s share of U.S. smartphone sales has collapsed to 9.5% from 12.7% in just a year. At the same time, Sprint’s share has climbed to 12.3% from 11.0% over the same time period. This means that in 1Q 2012, T-Mobile still held a narrow lead over Sprint when it came to smartphone sales in America; by 1Q 2013, Sprint had surged to lead T-Mobile by nearly three points. More →
Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson on Thursday ordered UNcarrier T-Mobile to correct “deceptive advertising that promised consumers no annual contracts while carrying hidden charges for early termination of phone plans.” T-Mobile, which recently did away with standard cell phone service contracts and typical smartphone subsidies, is accused of misleading consumers by advertising no-contract wireless plans despite requiring that customers sign an agreement that makes them responsible for the full cost of their handsets should they cancel service prematurely. More →
T-Mobile announced on Wednesday that preorders for the QWERTY-equipped BlackBerry Q10 smartphone will begin later next week. BlackBerry’s latest handset comes with a 3.1-inch Super AMOLED display, a 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 Plus processor and an 8-megapixel rear camera. The device also includes 2GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage, LTE connectivity, NFC, a microSD slot and a 2100 mAh battery. Earlier reports suggested that T-Mobile would launch the BlackBerry Q10 in May. While exact pricing and a release date were not revealed, the company said business customers can preorder the smartphone beginning on April 29th. BGR reviewed the BlackBerry Q10 earlier this week and found it to be a decent option for those users who still require a physical keyboard.
MetroPCS shareholders have voted in favor of the proposed merger deal with T-Mobile USA, Reuters reported. The approval comes only after Deutsche Telekom was forced to sweetened its offer for the wireless carrier after shareholders were advised to vote against the original proposal. Federal regulators at the FCC and Justice Department voiced their support for the merger in March, and the MetroPCS board unanimously approved the deal earlier this month. The merger will help T-Mobile expand its 4G LTE network to cover more than 200 million customers in the United States by the end of 2013. The deal is expected to close later this year.
T-Mobile tried as hard as it could to get a leg up on the competition and launch Samsung’s new Galaxy S4 a few days before any of its rivals, but the nation’s No.4 carrier was apparently a bit overeager. In a short note to the media on Tuesday night, T-Mobile said that it will delay its Galaxy S4 launch due to an “unexpected delay with inventory deliveries.” Rather than releasing the phone on Wednesday as planned, the S4 will now become available on Monday, April 29th — two days after rivals AT&T and Sprint launch the phone on April 27th. BGR reviewed the Samsung Galaxy S4 on Wednesday and said that it is better than its predecessor in every way. T-Mobile’s full note follows below. More →
Images said reveal an upcoming Nokia Lumia smartphone appeared on the popular Chinese social network Sina Weibo earlier this week. The images, which have been confirmed as authentic by WPCentral, show an improved design with an aluminum case, a shift away from the traditional polycarbonate cases of past Lumias. The upcoming handset is said to be equipped with a 4.5-inch display, a dual-core 1.5GHz Snapdragon S4 processor and an 8.7-megapixel rear camera. Other specs are rumored to include 16GB of internal storage, 1GB of RAM and a 2,000 mAh battery. The smartphone will reportedly be announced on May 15th for a late June release date on T-Mobile. A second image follows below. More →
The merger between T-Mobile and MetroPCS is very close to getting official now that Deutsche Telekom’s revised offer has led some major shareholders to drop their objections to the deal. MetroPCS announced on Monday that its board of directors had unanimously approved the new merger terms and said that the revised deal “significantly improves the value of the proposed combination for MetroPCS stockholders” while adding that the proposed merger “is in the best interest of all MetroPCS stockholders.” The MetroPCS merger is the linchpin of T-Mobile’s strategy to expand its operations in the United States since the prepaid wireless carrier already offers LTE services in several major metropolitan markets. MetroPCS shareholders are scheduled to vote to approve or reject the merger on April 24th.