Apple now selling iPhone with T-Mobile prepaid service, $50 off for a limited time

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A couple of Apple-flavored goodies for you guys to digest today. First up: Customers can now walk in to an Apple store in the U.S., purchase and activate an iPhone with a prepaid T-Mobile plan. What’s more, customer who do decide to buy the iPhone with T-Mobile prepaid service can get $50 off the device. Customers buying an iPhone with a T-Mobile Simple Choice plan will receive a $50 iTunes gift card.

To take advantage of these offers and get the $50 discount/gift card, you need to activate the device in store, and there is a limit of 1 device per customer. To receive the $50 discount on the prepaid activation deal, you need to activate it with $50 or $70 worth of service.

Clearly, Apple and T-Mobile have increased their level of partnership in recent times. These offers are announced only a few days after it was Apple started supplying the iPhone 5s units on offer through T-Mobile’s free 7-day test drive as part of Uncarrier 5.0.

T-Mobile has also announced that Costco will begin selling the iPhone 5s, iPad and iPad mini w/Retina with T-Mobile service, and a “competitive out of pocket price with T-Mobile’s monthly equipment installment plan”.

Costco will offer T-Mobile variants of iPhone 5s 16GB in silver or space gray, iPad Mini 16GB with Retina display in silver, and iPad Air 16GB in space gray at a competitive out of pocket price with T-Mobile’s monthly equipment installment plan through its vendor, WebBank. Plus, only T-Mobile offers tablets unleashed with up to 200MB offree 4G LTE data every month for the life of that tablet when it’s registered and used on T-Mobile’s network, and up to 1.2GB free every month through the end of 2014 for qualified customers. To boot, Costco will sweeten the deal by offering easy home delivery of T-Mobile’s iPad Air straight to your door!”

Both the Apple store and Costco moves are clear attempts by T-Mobile to ensure that the U.S. consumer knows that it does carry the iPhone. According to John Legere, only a very small percentage of the public seem aware that Apple’s devices are available on T-Mo. Offering discounts, and further availability is certainly one way to address that problem.

Via: T-Mobile (1), (2)

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  • trife

    Glad to see Apple products back in Costco. I’ve found buying from them is pretty simple and a lot quicker than going into a TMO store. Only downside is if you get a rep that screws something up with your plan.

  • Roger Sales

    This is a great development – more choices for every type of customer.

    • 1RealityCheck

      Why can’t they actually discount the price for once instead of Apple store credits or iTunes cards. Its like Apple can never give consumers a price break or any savings without keeping all the $$ for themselves. I have a Mac and an Android but the Apple attitude is a huge turnoff to me

      • donnybee

        Yeah, unfortunately a lot of places do this. It’s the same kind of garbage as mail in rebates. Just give me a discount here and now. I don’t want gift cards that I can only spend here. I don’t want to mail something in and wait for $20 to come back.

        It’s a mind game. Too many people fall for it from every company.

        • maximus1901

          I’ve always received the rebate check. Always.

        • TylerCameron

          But you have to wait for it! And it’s rarely any large amount of money!

    • Woochifer

      The prepaid market is probably Apple’s largest untapped US customer base. Promoting the prepaid and contract-free channel is a smart move, especially since T-Mobile right now probably has the best prepaid options if you don’t want to go with a MVNO like Straight Talk.

      For years, it’s been possible to use an unlocked iPhone on a GSM network, but the plans were a mess and Apple only began selling factory unlocked phones about two years ago. T-Mobile is the first of the major carriers to make the prepaid vs postpaid option completely transparent with none of the contract subsidy BS to decipher. This makes it relatively simple to buy an iPhone through Costco.

    • Woochifer

      The prepaid market is probably Apple’s largest untapped US customer base. Promoting the prepaid and contract-free channel is a smart move, especially since T-Mobile right now probably has the best prepaid options if you don’t want to go with a MVNO like Straight Talk.

      For years, it’s been possible to use an unlocked iPhone on a GSM network, but the plans were a mess and Apple only began selling factory unlocked phones about two years ago. T-Mobile is the first of the major carriers to make the prepaid vs postpaid option completely transparent with none of the contract subsidy BS to decipher. This makes it relatively simple to buy an iPhone through Costco.

  • Francisco llanos

    But who cares about prepaid iPhones when I want to know when the LG G3 releases for T-Mo!

    • donnybee

      Well, I guess you care since you read the article. I don’t see G3 anywhere in the title, so as far as I can see, you’re either secretly very interested and don’t want to show it for some reason, or just trolling.

      Your comment makes as much sense as an iPhone lover being completely confused when he reads an LG post that he ‘doesn’t care about’ only to say he’s trying to find the part about the new iPhone and nobody should care about that article…

      Yeah, sounds like trolling. Oh and just so you know, you aren’t the only T-Mo customer..

    • josephsinger

      Herez an idea for you: Get on LG, Sammy and any other brand you yourself like better and tell them (nicely of course) that they need to do this test drive thing and the money thing too.

  • Matt

    I’ll celebrate when the network coverage is on par with AT&T.

  • VG

    I think Legere needs to work with Apple more in order to get the news out. For example, buying an iPhone 5S on Apple’s web site shows a $199 price for Verizon, AT&T and Sprint, while the T-Mobile price is shown at $649. For those consumers who don’t understand the subsidy model or the cost of the service plans, this is misleading and cause potential customers to NOT choose T-Mobile. Hence, I think T-Mo needs to work with Apple to get the Apple web site redesigned in order to show a more accurate and fair comparison amongst the 4 carriers.

    • donnybee

      I agree. It’s not apples-to-apples anymore (no pun intended) since T-Mobile ended subsidies. Yet, that’s how it’s shown when next to the same device with a completely different pricing schedule. I’m sure Apple hardly moves any T-Mo product.

      • 1RealityCheck

        They don’t. At least not according to employees at my store. And potential Tmobile customers can’t take advantage of the sales 3rd party retailers have. That may contribute to people not realizing Tmobile even has the iPhone. For example, Walmart has just cut the iPhone 5C to $29 and the iPhone 5S to $99. Of course its only valid on contract plans for Verizon, Sprint, ATT. So imagine a customer seeing this. Tmobile is never even mentioned by these other retailers so they’re not even part of the equation. (And if they were, you’d see a 649 price. How about Tmobile doing a 4th of July sale and knocking $100 or so off that price to generate some excitement since they probably will knock down the price in a few months anyway). Tmobile is cut out of selling phones outside of Tmobile.com and Tmobile stores so customers just browsing for iPhones are missed.

        • donnybee

          What they need to do is start allowing all their 3rd party channels, including Apple, to sign people up for EIP programs. If that’s accomplished, then the iPhone is $0 down, instead of $650 today. And if I was a customer, $0 looks a lot better than $199. Sure, it’s not free, but it’s a better plan overall anyway. The phone and plan should be separate. If nothing else, it would grab the attention of those shopping and they’d have to think REALLY hard as to why they DON’T want T-Mobile. It would help Apple too because maybe the customer doesn’t have $200 today, but wanted to look around. Now they can walk out with a new phone too.

          It would be hard to implement, but if they found a way to do it right, this would move millions of units.

      • Woochifer

        Hard to say. The “T-Mobile” iPhone 5s models sold out first when the 5s went on sale, and were by far the most difficult ones to find for at least the first two months. But, because the T-Mobile models were the only unlocked models available at launch, we don’t know how many of them were sold to T-Mobile customers versus buyers looking to use the phone on another GSM network or put it up for resale.

    • 1RealityCheck

      There is virtually no Tmobile presence at Apple stores. Employees don’t even know how Tmobile plans work and don’t recommend it. You’re right – The average consumer is going to see 199 vs 649. I was at the Apple Store days after the iPhone /Tmobile free trial announcement and not a single employee knew about it. I would have thought that since Apple was providing the phones, its something that would have at least been communicated to employees even thought he phone cannot be gotten at the Apple Store itself. Its probably another reason people don’t even know Tmobile even offers the iPhone

      • Woochifer

        The test drive program has NOTHING to do with the Apple stores, so I doubt that their employees would know anything about it. You sign up for the test drive online. You receive the phone in the mail, and you return it to a T-Mobile store since it’s their program. Apple simply provides the phones directly to T-Mobile.

        Up to this point, the T-Mobile iPhones have been sold as “unlocked” phones. Most customers simply activate them online because there’s no contract hassle, plus the popular $30 prepaid plan can only be activated online. I would wonder whether the Apple employees not recommending T-Mobile has something to do with the commissions that retailers receive for signing a customer to a contract.

  • 1RealityCheck

    A $50 iTunes card is not the same as $50 off. One of the biggest issues with Tmobile’s new system is you can’t take advantage of the numerous sales that Walmart, Amazon, Best Buy, Target and other 3rd party retailers occasionally have. Walmart is discounting the iPhone 5S and 5C right now but again Tmoblie customers are excluded. (and they’re real discounts as in cash off – not some credit that you might not want). I would never use $50 of iTunes.

    • Woochifer

      But, those discounts only apply if you sign a contract. The whole system of subsidized device pricing is a scam that hides the full cost of the device and plan. Who cares about discounts when taking advantage of it requires an expensive contract?

      T-Mobile’s contract-free pricing is the best value because it’s fully transparent and costs less over the long term. That so-called sale pricing for the other carriers doesn’t mean much when you spread the cost out over 24 months.

      If you’re already in the Apple ecosystem (and even if you’re not), there are plenty of uses for a $50 iTunes card. It came with my iPad and I used up that credit within the first month. Apps, in-app purchases, music, books, Mac apps, movies, etc.

  • caligurl562

    i have an iphone 5s on tmobile my friend has a 5s on att go phone , i compared both here in los angeles ,tmobile gets up to 60 mbps dwn outside with dots of lte ,att with full dots of lte 20 tops. INside buildings, stores ,mall,sears,nordstrom ,hospital my tmobile iphone is usually searching my friends att iphone lte craps out in those places but drops down to att “4G ” AND HAS AT LEAST 2 DOTS OF 4g and works perfectly fine to call and text sometimes att 4G DATA DONT WORK IN THOSE PLACES she has complained data sometimes craps out even tho the phone displays 4G ,so yea it just depends to which company u wanna go to i seen att usually works better in buildings to call and text than tmobile but data does get pretty bad in those buildings on att.

    • Melissa Cardenas

      Tru that i seen it too, att usually works better to call n text in buildings were tmobile has nothing , but data usually dont work so your stuck with voice n text only

    • josephsinger

      AT&T and Verizon have access to 850 Hz “cellular” which has much better luck penetrating walls than does 1.9 Ghz “PCS”.

  • Rick Rudge

    This is good news that the Apple stores recognize T-Mobile as a carrier for their products as well as AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon. T-Mobile has always supported the iPhone from the very beginning, although it was with jail-broken devices. I’m glad to see that Apple now officially supports T-Mobile. I’m also glad to hear that Costco is dealing with iPhones with T-Mobile in their stores, as well.

  • matt

    do you still get the $50 iTunes gift card if you make monthly payments ? or is this only for people who buy phone in one payment ?

  • Singleweird

    do people think apple had anything to do with t-mobile’s test-drive program? you’re test driving the network, not the iPhone. the iPhone is a tool.

    • Woochifer

      Actually, it goes both ways. If you listened to Legere at the Uncarrier event, he clearly indicated that the test drive program is intended to raise awareness of T-Mobile’s network, as well as the fact that T-Mobile carries the iPhone. Among the major carriers, T-Mobile has the lowest iPhone penetration. So, the test drive is also aimed at existing T-Mobile customers that currently use a less current phone and might not know that the iPhone is an option. Legere devoted an entire segment of his presentation to cheating on your carrier “even if it’s us.”

  • Mike E

    TMO Has long since known about the crappy reception and poor data service on the Iphone since it came to their network. Once you have the device you’ll be forced to suffer with dropped calls, crappy reception and v e r y, v e r y slow data. It’s all documented on the TMO support forum dating back to the first offing of the iphone for TMO. They would like to say its the phone, the case, you use or any other nonsense reason,however, the reality is that it’ a network problem. I live in the Philadelphia Metro area, clearly not Bumble *uck N ow here, and am forced to use the E band. That’s right E, not 4G and certainly not LTE. TMO was so overjoyed to get the iphone that it rushed the phone out without having the necessary tower support. Shame on you TMO.