(Update) Editorial: Dear T-Mobile, Your Value Plan Pricing On The Nexus 4 Isn’t Cool

Editors Note: After writing this editorial based on less than perfect information, a new post is available to try and explain why the fault lies with LG, and not with the carriers. You can read that post here

I hope I don’t offend anyones sensibilities, but as I took some time to sleep on the Nexus 4 announcements after spending the better part of yesterday just keeping up with the news, I realize T-Mobile’s Value Plan price on the device sucks. There’s no polite way of saying it, at the end of the day you’ll pay $499 (after your down payment of $199 and 20 monthly payments of $15) for a phone that’s available on the Play Store for $349. That means you’ll pay  roughly 70% of T-Mobile’s price by purchasing it directly from Google. Given that the phone appears to be the same hardware, including HSPA+ 42Mbps connectivity, I can’t imagine why anyone would use T-Mobile’s Value Plan on this particular device?

I’m a T-Mobile champion, you all know that and a staunch defender of the company, but this is one instance in which I think the company is making a bold move, that’s very, very wrong. I can tell you with confidence that T-Mobile is moving to a Value Plan future (more on this later) and that a new-ish rate plan styles is on the way. No new rates dollar wise, but a way of combining Classic and Value plans onto one account to help migrate customers over to the Value Plan life. In many cases, Value Plans are a great offer, especially if you are bringing your own hardware. Even if the case of a non-Nexus device, Value Plans can still present a huge savings over the course of a two-year contract. Just not this time. This time, T-Mobile is making the wrong move and at the end of the day, Value Plan customers will get the short end of the stick. If you’re on a Classic or Legacy rate plan, the subsidized pricing on the Nexus 4 makes a lot of sense. If you’re a Value Plan subscriber, do yourself a favor and buy the Nexus from Google, your wallet will thank you. At the end of the day, choosing the Value Plan method will really come down to deciding if breaking up payments is easier for you economically, and in that case it’s an easy decision.

I’ll end this simply and say its possible T-Mobile could change their pricing between now and the release of the device on November 14th, but given our information as of this writing, the Value Plan offer is woefully overpriced. If you really want the Nexus 4, and you want it on anything but a Classic/Legacy Plan, get it from the Play Store, that’s the easy solution.

The full details are as follows:

  • $199.99 down payment, and 20 payments of $15
  • $499.99 is the full retail price
  • Also, the $199 on Classic is after a $50 MIR.


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  • trife

    Only way I’d buy it on a Value Plan would be if it comes with Duarte’s shirt.

    • kev2684


    • Josue

      that shirt is prob worth more than we make in our lives lol

      • Get a Job yo

        You must be unemployed

        • Josue

          you must be in high school

        • Get a Job Yo

          Wrong. Not that I would want that bourgeois shirt, but I could buy it. It’s so ugly though and tacky looking that only a software tech dork could get away with wearing it in the Bay Area. Please David can you find out what kind of shirt is? Your readers want, no, need to know. No disrespect to Duarte other than his incredibly phony explanation for not adding an SD card on the Nexus 4, but I don’t like that blouse. I’m sure he’s a pretty successful technologist, so don’t read too much into my fashion commentary.

        • Josue

          let the man live…lol

  • Thank you David !

    • Tom Franklin

      The only reason I can think of buying from T-Mobile is that it might have different firmware for WiFi calling. I love the Nexus phones, but miss the WiFi calling. I would prefer to buy it from a T-Mobile store just for that feature.

      • thats enough of a software tap to delay an update.. thus it would not be a real Nexus device

  • jonathan3579

    Stupid. Just stupid. The savings on the Value Plan in this case are absolutely nothing. You end up paying Classic Plan pricing for the month and overpay on the device.

    • UMA_Fan

      If the monthly installment is only $15 you are coming up cheaper than Classic. It’s when the monthly phone payment is $20 is when your monthly bill is the same as Classic, for those 20 months at least.

  • No reason to buy it thru T-Mobile. Google Store is the move. Only way Id buy it thru T-Mobile is thru their Loyalty dept as I usually do. Like getting the GS3 for $80 last month lol

  • This may be a stupid question but why can’t you just buy from Play and subscribe to Value plan? My impression was that the Value plan was BYOP.

    • You can.

    • Khalints

      I think you can but you still sign a contract(IIRC). Might as well go through monthly 4g or an MVNO.

      • No unlimited (non-throttled) data on MVNO’s or Prepaid (Monthly 4G).

    • qpinto

      there isnt any reason to go value plan if you bring your own device. unless you want the unlimited everything for 60 a month without data caps.

  • Sean W

    Every other tech blog I’ve read has reported a a full (Google Play) retail price of about $350. I hope they are right.

    • Yes, we’ve reported the same thing since the very first press release. That’s the price from Google.

  • lightyear25

    This is normal, T-Mobile jacks the device prices WAYY up for their value plan, its how they make their money. They will literally sell an old lady a piece of garbage, and charge her out the wazoo.

    • trife

      In all fairness though, TMO does tell you that you’ll have to pay full price for your devices on a Value Plan. So it shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone, unless someone didn’t pay attention or read their contract.

      • Nate the Great

        The issue is even if you pay full price, you can get it significantly cheaper from Google Play. $500 vs $349

        • remister

          Just think of Tmobile’s version of paying interest for using a payment plan, LOL

        • tmo new new

          then buy it on google play and pay the full amount all at once

    • True. I mean how are they still trying to charge $400 for the Galaxy S2? Hahaha. Its how they make their money though, because their plans offer a better value. That’s why you can get an iphone for $99 or $199 on Verizon or AT&T, but you end up paying more in the long run, because their rate plans are higher.

  • whiteiphoneproblems

    At least we’ll be able to play with it in a TMO store, before buying it from Play… :P

    • b


    • deeoh1084

      what a rip off but i agree with you about the playing part unless they have non-functional phone as a display (recently T-Mo stores around chicago only has like 2 or 3 actual live units)

      • JR

        Most often than not, the “live” unit is in the back, and they’ll let you play with it, if you so request. Their reasoning for this was “we’ve had many phones stolen from our display”. I know that’s what happened when I wanted to check out the S3, the Note II, the S2, and the Lumia.

    • glock9

      can you buy from google then use prepaid tmobile #50 unlimited plan?

      • Secret Shopper #42

        Sure, but you’d only get 100MB of 4G data. Unlimited 2G.

        • Josue

          $70 for 5GB of interwebs

        • Benjamin@tmo

          or TRUELY unlimited data for the same price on value :P

        • Josue

          plus $20 for the phone

      • UMA_Fan

        I would do Value with truly unlimited data, talk, text for $70

  • mattcat03

    Just goes to show you what kind of managers or executives are working for Tmobile. Bunch of morons and thats an understatement.

  • Tmorep

    I am a tmobile rep and asked my manager why would anyone buy this phone from us and why don’t we price it the same as the Google store price? And his answer made sense… If we priced that phone at $49 down, we would sell a ton of nexus devices, but what about our other phones and the new windows phones? Everyone would just get nexus phones and we would lose money on all those other devices.

    • thepanttherlady

      Instead, T-Mobile opts to jack the price up so anyone with a brain buys it through Google directly. Yes, it makes sense doesn’t it?

      • T-Mobile is in a bad situation. Reports are that Google is not making much off of this phone. So any discount on the HW to TMO would be very small, if any. So why would TMO sell a device at cost instead of a phone where they do make money? It is absurd, but that is the problem for TMO when Google sells phones at cost.

        • thepanttherlady

          We’ve all seen them do this with recent devices being priced higher than the competition. It is painfully obvious T-Mobile is starting a new trend; however, when there is such a large price difference between off contract price and contract price, it isn’t hard to make a decision on who’d be getting my $.

        • philyew

          But this is also Google jamming the carrier by directly undercutting the wholesale price that they are charging TM.

        • archerian

          it’ll soon become like the PC industry with tight margins and most profits going to the software vendor

        • trife

          But isn’t that also TMO’s fault? I’m sure they knew Google’s pricing prior to becoming the exclusive carrier of the Nexus. I have a hard time believing that they would enter a business deal not knowing the full details.

        • philyew

          They are the only carrier likely to offer the device with a subsidy, but I’m not sure that “premier launch partner” translates directly to “exclusive carrier”. Having said that, you are right that they will most likely have known the overall pricing scenario before entering the deal and had a choice whether to go with it or not.

          In the end though, what determines what is happening with the other carriers isn’t the asking price from Google, but the lack of LTE support, which means that TM are the only carrier who can really make a splash about this device.

          It’s a bit of a turkey really, when you think about it, but it will be the last time for a while that TM get the chance to promote something as being “premier”, so they’ll have grabbed it with both hands, even if Google are making them look silly with their direct sales price.

        • Zach Mauch

          only their classic plan contract price is higher. The retail price of the phone is often lower. The reason (IMHO) why they are doing this is two fold. 1. they are phasing out the classic to go straight value plan and are providing motivation to switch. 2. they never raised their ETF from 200 to 350 like most carriers and need the higher price to protect themselves. plus, their plans are priced cheaper.

        • Olivier Boss

          Hello, people, wireless carriers (e.g. TMo) are … wireless carriers. They don’ MAKE phones, and they have NO business selling/making money on hardware they don’t even make. Again, people in America (and I am one of them) are being misled to believe that wireless carriers are controlling the phones.
          In the rest of the world, wireless carriers are doing great just offering (a huge diversity of) service plans (pre-pay, yearly plans, etc.).
          They subsidize phone manufacturers’ phones to attract customers to their services, PERIOD.
          In fact, and that’s key, in the rest of the world ALL the phones (all GSM) work with ALL the carriers’ networks – they all share the towers, the coverage is 100% of territories and their business is BOOMING.
          People are happy, they don’t feel cheated by greedy wireless carriers, get access to ALL the new smartphones and buy more services. Everybody’s happy.

        • JR

          Dude, I don’t know where you’re coming from, but your statement is flawed.

          There are two kinds of phones, we all know about: subsidized, and unlocked. Now, you’re free to buy the best unlocked phone you find and get a prepaid or contract with any company. USUALLY, in this case it’d be prepaid, if you buy an unlocked phone, because then you can switch carriers whenever you please.

          However, the subsidized phones work in the same way as here. They are locked to that carrier only, and you need to GSM-unlock it to be able to use it with another carrier. They offer 1-2-3 year contracts to get you a subsidized phone, and there’s (or there wasn’t) early renewal with access to new subsidized phone. I used to love that of Sprint, before they took it away. The only way to get a new phone for cheap is by canceling your contract with your present carrier and moving on to the next carrier. And people in Spain, for example, do this all the time when they want a new handset, because more often than not, a EUR700 will be EUR150 or even FREE under contract, with a high monthly rate.

          These are the phones that have the little label that specifies the carrier. The Nexus 4 for T-Mobile will most likely also have a $150 “T-Mobile label”. They’re doing the opposite of subsidizing, and many will succumb to it not knowing better. All they see is “great phone, great specs, less than $300 on contract. AWESOME! They won’t see the “but it’s cheaper on Google Play WITHOUT a contract!!”

          Anyway, Carriers make money off hardware sales, and off contracts, etc. Of course. Think of it as a middle man, that messes with the hardware before he gives it to you. But it’s not an American notion. A phone that costs $700 to the general public and is sold for $300 under contract, may not be a great money maker. A phone that is $350, but sold for $300 under contract…There’s probably some wiggle room where T-Mo is STILL making profit off the phone.

          Value adds more to this, as opposed to what “value” means, sadly.

          So I agree with part of your comment, but don’t say the rest of the world doesn’t do the same thing the US does. In fact, the rest of the world started first, and the US started catching up in the past 10-15 years.

          Cellphone plans used to be great in Europe compared to the US. Now, when all things are compared, they’re way closer.

          And, PS.- People always feel cheated, regardless. The only time they don’t feel cheated is when the phone was free…until they want a new phone and try to get off a contract and are told there’s an ETF…

          Share towers? All the phones work with all the carriers….what??? No…again, works like in the US, except the phones are mostly GSM, and pentaband at that, and can work, IF UNLOCKED, with all networks, but you still have your roaming, extra charges…if you get a subsidized phone then it is locked to the network that sold it. Can you go to a random phone store and unlock it? yeah. Is it legal? well…it’s the same as purchasing a GSM code over the internet and getting it unlocked yourself, I believe.

          Just forget all I wrote on focus on the following few lines:

          – In “the rest of the world”, Not all phones are available in all carriers, but unlocked phones work with all carriers, as long as you get a SIM card from that carrier.

          – Locked phones work with the carrier that subsidized it, and it holds its label on the phone.

          Is this different than the US? No. Americans are just more used to subsidized phones, and less used to buying unlocked phones, and no phone (or barely any) works with ALL carriers in the US, no matter how unlocked it is.

          Maybe I’m just confused about your comment altogether.

        • archerian

          To add to these points, more than 75% of the world is prepaid, and hence they don’t typically have subsidies or locked phones. And by sharing towers, I think the earlier poster meant physical co-location – many countries have tower companies that maintain towers for multiple operators, they still use separate antennas.

        • Olivier Boss

          I agree, there is no disagreement in our points.
          I meant unlocked (GSM) phones. Key is that the rest of the world (incl. Europe, China, where I have used my Swiss phone since 2001) uses GSM (yes, a quadband or more phone will get you everywhere). You can use your (GSM, unlocked) phone, whereas in US only T-Mobile and AT&T use GSM (and their frequencies are different than the whole world but I think most pentaband phones can work at least with low bandwidth, 2G). Verizon or Sprint do not use the world standard GSM.

      • philyew

        I guess the question is how many customers TM will lose by driving the phone purchase over to Google? If the people buy from Google and still come back to TM for the Value Plan, then TM have actually made money by avoiding selling the device directly for a loss…

      • David VanHouse

        If someone doesn’t do any research on a phone before buying it, it is their fault they got ripped off.

    • I highly doubt $50 for this Nexus would stir up so much controversy.

    • Zach Mauch

      why is everyone down ranking this? It makes a lot more sense now. Their options were this. 1. don’t offer the nexus at all. 2. offer it and undercut their other offerings along with pissing off their various phone manufactures. 3. Sell it the way they are. Honestly, that makes a lot more sense.

      The good thing about this is that what Google is doing is having an affect. When you combine that with the fact that T-Mobile will likely make a total move to value plans in 2013 it’s easy to see that we’ll finally get true competition on phones. T-Mobile’s success will motivate other carriers to move to T-Mobile’s model.

      With all this, prices on phones will drop as consumers are able to view the true cost of their phone. Carriers will loose control over the hardware and we’ll see a lot more standardization and branding by manufactures. It’s already happening now. It’s been happening for the last few years. I thought the FCC would have to do it, but fortunately, free markets are taking care of it.

    • Nearmsp

      I think the significance of this is much more than people not buying other phones. Issues like this undermine the confidence of the customer and the damage to the company is much more than any damage. It is a self goal. Think how would the uniformed dad or grand dad feel when their grandson tells them you got ripped off by T-mobile. I bought mine at the Google store. I agree, Google is under pricing this to keep up with Apple. T-mobile got caught up in this.

  • get off of me hoe

    what the hell so on a classic plan the phone is 199.99 but if u do a value plan it cost 499.99 and from google play store its 349 and its all the same spec wow i would rather buy it from google play store and save urself 250 dollars that ridiculous. well i guess that extra 250 goes to tmobile sense they have make a profit off it too.

  • The Guru

    Great point .. the only upside is the 199$ down payment instead of 349.99$ .. if you have 350$ to spend then off to the play store it is .. if not 199.99 down is still a good way to get a Nexus device with being broke ..

  • Metal Maniac

    I thought the phone was $599.99 retail. If the phone is really $499.99, T mobile could really make a bold statement by offering the phone for $99.99 down and allow Value plan members to defer the $400 on the EIP for 20$ for 20 months….That would lower the out of pocket to about $140…with taxes included….NOW THAT WOULD HAVE THEM RUNNING OUT OF THIS DEVICE.

    • thepanttherlady

      You’re missing the point. Why would someone opt to spend $500 on a phone that they can get for $350 elsewhere. So they can make payments on it? SMH.

      • 41% interest for buying from T-mo store.

        • thepanttherlady

          Jamille, do NOT make me shake you upside down by your ankles! =P

        • 21stNow

          I get 30% interest [(500-350)/500].

        • I did it with the $600 price plan by accident but you are most likely right in that new number.

    • jelliottz

      But with the Play store version selling for $349, why would anyone choose to pay a higher cost spread over 2 years? It defeats the point of the savings provided by the value plan. I understand the purpose of deferring the cost on say, a Note 2 or some.other phone. Paying $700 outright is difficult, and you’re really not going to find it cheaper somewhere else. The Nexus 4 can be found cheaper somewhere else. You would be overpaying by $150. That’s almost half way to another Nexus, or the differemce between 5gb of data or adding in unlimited and still coming out ahead.

      • JR

        Completely agree with this statement

  • Ed

    Where do you get the $15/mo figure from? T-Mobile’s press release states “Value Plan: $199.99 out of pocket down payment and 20 equal payments of $20 per month with a two year service agreement on qualifying voice and data plans”.

    $500 isn’t cool; $600 is just silly.

    reference: http://newsroom.t-mobile.com/articles/t-mobile-announces-holiday-lineup

    • That’s out of date, that’s why I posted the new info.

      • Ed

        Appreciated. Is there a link at T-Mobile with the updated info that you can direct anyone interested to?

  • There are truly a bunch of stupid asses over at TMo right now! Ahahahahahah

  • Guest

    I know logically the Value plan makes sense for new custs, but I’m on a classic plan that is still much cheaper than what I’d pay if I switched. My fear is they will just do away with the program like they do a lot of other plans (even more plus, my faves, etc) and people will just be left in the lurch. And all they’ve done on us grandfathered users is raise the price of the phones to push us to switch… The Note II would cost us $480 out the door, all said and done (minus $50/rebate later). My husband wants one too and it’s just too much money. But I can’t say the Value saves us any money… it may save very little for some and then T-mobile decides to price these phones higher later.

    • Nathan S.

      I just recently switched from the old Even more plus for families no contract plan( 2 lines with Unlimited talk, text and 5gb data cap) plan to a new family value plan(2 lines) with 1000 minutes, unlimited txt and unlimited data with no cap and am saving about $60 a month. Down side to this, 2 year contract. But otherwise, been very happy with making the switch to value plan.

      I always buy my phones second hand so phone discounts dont really get me excited so that is why I went with EM+ in the beginning. Come Tax season, I expect I will buy us a couple galaxy Note 2s or Nexus 4s. Jury is still out on the LG Nexus though.

      • Guest

        My plan is much older than that.

        • Nathan S.


    • Olivier Boss

      Same thing for me, maruichan. So I am shopping around, comparing and taking my time. I don’t like T-Mobile’s slap in the face to its (current and potential) customers.
      And nobody tells me that TMo’s service plans are “cheap” or even reasonable.
      Prices in the US are a disgrace! (and so is the coverage BTW). They are 5x higher than in Switzerland (or France). This is due to the quasi-monopole of way too FEW wireless carriers in the US (facilitated by their use of non-worldwide standard, non-GSM technology – except for TMo and ATT).
      Competition in the US needs to be hugely increased; this is the only way to keep carriers honest. The current total lack of real competition in the US as regards mobile communications is responsible for this situation. Wireless carriers grab the customers by the balls by not developing the world-wide common technology, GSM, and thus requiring customers to use their (carriers’) own phones.
      Americans need to know what it’s like in the rest of the world.

      • JR

        Hmm…By all standards, T-Mobile may not be the cheapest in the world, but don’t just say “oh it’s cheaper everywhere else because you don’t have to pay $80/mo outright”, because, for example, in Spain, you have a minimum cost of EUR20, regardless of whether you use the phone line or not (on contract, that is). Then, you may spend more than EUR20, specially if you use data. And data? well, there’s no LTE there, no mention of 4G. HSPA+ at 25mbps? yeah, no. Unlimited data plans?

        Back way when, when I was there, with my Movistar iPhone 3GS, It was like a phone line minimum of EUR40, and that included like 200mb of data. Obviously that was a long time ago, but things haven’t changed much.

        To provide you a reference, I just went back to Movistar website to check their pricing.

        1500 minutes, unlimited text, and 500mb of 3g = EUR90.That’s $117.

        I have a 3 line Value plan with 1500 minutes, plus unlimited T-Mo minutes, unlimited text on all lines, 2GB on 2 lines, of 4g, and insurance on the lines, and I’m paying $97 after tax.

        For 4 lines, in contrast, with discounts, I was paying $250 at Sprint 9 months ago. Sure, unlimited data, but we didn’t reach the 2gb anyway. That did include the insurance for the phones, but still.

        Truth be told, we thing we’re pretty bad here, and, no question about it, I still remember when a prepaid $30 card would last me 2 months in Spain, but the $30 5gb data, unlimited text, 100 min voice is pretty nice for those that don’t make calls, and that’s prepaid.

        Anyway, yes, things are bad, but go to a Swiss, French, or Spanish website and try to pan out a contract for 3 lines, with 2gb data on two, unlimited text, and 1500 minutes, and check how much that is. I’d be surprised if it’s less than $85.

        I could be wrong, and I may be, but I’d be a little surprised.

        • Olivier Boss

          I get you, Johnathon. I don’t know about Spain, and I never pretended I did. I know about conditons in Switzerland (2001-2012) and France (recent years).

  • Christopher_McG

    Love my Even More 3000 rate plan. I know T-Mobile is trying to move away from subsidies but I didn’t know they were this desperate.

    • loueradun

      Unfortunately with this sort of pricing, our grandfathered plans might as well not even offer subsidies…

      • Christopher_McG

        Actually my rate plan is neck and neck with the value plans and offers much more (limited) usage. So subsidies make it a better “value” even if they are terrible subsidies.

    • I’m not moving to a new plan, I will stay on my Legacy plan for as long as I can. I already went to a TMo store and talked about plans. And the rep agreed they don’t have anything new, that will give me a better deal than I already have. 1000 whenever mins, unlimted nights/wkends, unlimited mobile-mobile, unlimted text, unlimited web (5GB I think, the $20 Android web still), plus the $8 insurance/warranty, and with my corporate discount I pay about $72 a month. Another $10 would give me unlimited voice, but only 2GB data I think, and I don’t need unlimited voice. So, the best plan for me, is still my old one.

      • Christopher_McG

        Exactly. I pay roughly $190 for 5 lines (one is @Home) before add-on’s, taxes and discounts. I don’t need unlimited. Why would I give this up for a “Value-LESS” plan?

    • Emperius

      Engadget refuge huh.

      • Christopher_McG

        No, I’ve been here for years…

        • Emperius

          Same… with T-Mo.

  • googlephone

    I don’t get it. Why you are complaining the price is high for value plan but saying it makes a lot more sense for classic plan??? If your reasons behind value plan hold, the price for classic plan should free.

    So complain for both value plan and classic plan or just shut up. This is a worst editorial without logic.

    The logic is T-mobile’s phone price is high for both value plan and classic plan. Get it? T-mobile is doing this for years on other devices and I didn’t see you complaining about them.

    • DUDE

      full retail price for this phone at tmobile with the value plan is $499.99 ($199.99 down payment + $15 for 20 months, so you pay roughly $200+tax/fee up front) vs. full retail through the google playstore is $349.99 vs. the subsidized price of this phone for classic plans which is $249.99 (after/when you receive your $50 you would have paid $199.99 for this phone) — here he’s complaining about how there’s little to no incentive to buy the google nexus 4 by lg through tmobile’s value plans … how is there no logic in his editorial? also i don’t believe tmobile has been pricing their phones higher than their competition for years though i could be wrong about this, i’ve only noticed their higher priced phones since recent with the samsung galaxy s3 and the samsung galaxy note 2

      • googlephone

        Dude, read my post again before you post. I agree 100% with you and David about value plan.What I point out is that David is wrong about saying “it makes a lot more sense to set 199 price for classic plans”.
        The same reasons Daivd was complaining about pricing on value plan apply to classic plans. Classic plans pay 20 dollars or more higher than value plans. If classic plans have to pay 199 for a 350 dollars unlocked phone, they only get 150 dollars from subsidy but paying more than 480 dollars ( 20 times 24 months) than value plan. Not many people will get the phone for 199 dollars on classic plans because of the same reasons not many people will buy it from tmo on value plans.

        How David get the logic behind “it makes more sense for 199 dollars on classic plans”? It makes more sense to change the title of this editorial to ” Dear T-Mobile, Your Value Plan AND CLASSIC PLAN pricing On The Nexus 4 Isn’t Cool”

        • If you are already on a Classic Plan, there is no feeling of “highway robbery” with a $199 price tag, in fact that’s the de facto price point for smartphones these days. That was my point, not the cost of the rate plan itself, but if you are already on the plan, the $199 price is standard.

        • JR

          It is “standard”, but saving $100 on a phone is not worth a 2 year contract. I mean, it can, but chances are when the S4 comes out the subsidy will be way more than $100. Even on the Note 2, the Subsidy is over $200. I’m not including mail-in rebates on my reasoning. Feels like one would be better off buying off contract and letting contract end as to have better chances for a future upgrade with a better subsidized pricing schema.

          And like you stated, the Value pricing is omgwtfbbq. On the Note 2, the Value/Retail for the T-Mobile was $650; whereas the international/unlocked version was selling for over $750. See the difference? With the Note 2, for using it on T-Mo, you’re better off getting it off T-Mo. And in the other side of the spectrum, with the Nexus 4, you’re better off getting it off Google instead of T-Mo.

          But you already stated that, so it’s more of reiterating what you said.

          By the way, not that anyone cares, but getting the N4 off Google and then switching from Classic to Value is $550. If your classic contract has ended, there may be other ways. The Value price, $500. Getting it on Classic, and then moving to Value is $450. So you’re better off being on Classic and switching to Value than purchasing on Value directly. Weird!

          But all in all, what we’re talking about here is people wanting to spend less at the beginning but way more throughout their contract. That’s always the case somehow…

        • If it were me, and someone could afford it, I don’t see a single reason not to buy this from Google. Of course, I only say that if money isn’t an issue.

        • JR

          100% agree

        • FlyerR

          For Comparison

          On Classic Plan, Tmo subsidizes over 24 months
          $270 for a 16Gb s3 ($550-$280) = ~11.25/month
          $270 for a Galaxy Note II ($650-$380) = ~11.25/month
          $350 for a 32Gb S3 ($680-$330) = ~15/month

          But only $6.25 per month for a GNex 4 (350-200)/24

          Which means the real value price of GNex4 on T-mobile for Classic Plans should be 350-270 = $80 (to be equivalent to the S3/Note II subsidies)

          If I am on a classic plan, T-mo should provide value to me because I SIGN a Contract!!!!

          For value plans, I don’ really see the problem (other than the fact that tmo is shafting people just because it can)– just buy the freaking phone from Google Directly. It only costs you 150 more – and there is no other change.

  • UMA_Fan

    I think its important to note Google is selling at a loss.

    Didn’t Verizon do this with the Galaxy Nexus? Their full retail price of the time was around $500-$600 even while Google had the unlocked $350 version in their store.

    • Guest

      The difference with the Verizon Galaxy Nexus is that you could only buy it from Verizon hence they could price it much more than the GSM/Google Play variant. The Nexus 4 is the same across the board, so there is no reason why Tmobile should charge more for it.

      • remister

        Plus the Verizon’s Nexus Galaxy was not a true Nexus device, users still needed to wait for Verizon to obtain day 1 updates.

    • iTried

      There was no way to compare the full retail of the Verizon galaxy nexus vs the unlocked gsm because there wasn’t a cdma lte nexus being sold on the play store so Verizon could charge whatever they wanted.

    • bleeew

      But Google didn’t offer it at the Play Store at the time. It was a few months later that it was able to be bought off google. Before then; you would buy it on ebay or best buy for around $500-600 new

    • archerian

      Why do you say the Nexus 4 is being sold at a loss? I’m guessing the BoM to be around $200-$250 for the device, even for the 16GB version

    • DJ Lawless Oneâ„¢

      But Verizon had LTE on the G’Nex they sold.

  • CJA

    I thought I was missing something when I read this. Thanks for convincing me I’m not going crazy David! To the complainers out there, if you can do math you will know that the value plans are actually very good deals over a 2+ year basis AND the value plan pricing on phones is usually almost spot on with a full retail price. TMo does not mark these up.. in fact they give you an interest free loan for the most part, so it’s really a great deal! This is just weird.. it is almost like Tmo saw the phone specs and just priced it before finding out what it would actually retail for.

  • Metal Maniac

    If you’re on the Value plan you should know that the newer pricing structure should allow $400 to be financed through EIP. If they have gone back to last years SENSATION/AMAZE PRICING….WHEN THE DIDN’T OFFER MORE THAN 300$ TO BE FINANCED, i WON’T BUY THIS PHONE. Currently any $499.99 phone would only require $99 down and the $400 is paid out in 20 months. That would be a dream com true….They’re still making $150 more but my out of pocket is $140 With 20$added to my bill. This is a much better deal for people who have more things to do besides buy phones. PLEASE LET THIS PHONE BE $499.99!!

    • Metal Maniac


  • jlaigo2

    What, what, are you saying that tmo wants to charge you more than they pay for it!…… This is the first non profit we should cut……

  • sagisarius

    So, I’d been shopping for phones lately, and I was under the impression that the Value plan phone payback was $20 a month now, for 20 months…so $400, plus a $200 down payment. So it was looking to me like this would cost $600. Am I off somewhere?

    • thepanttherlady

      That’s about right, and the purpose of this editorial….although David quoted $15/20. Either way: $500 or $600 = no es bueno. :)

      • sagisarius

        Yeah, so i guess I phrased that wrong. I see he clarified the article, so is it $15 now instead of $20 a month? Is that new in the last couple of weeks?

        • thepanttherlady

          It’s only been a matter of days, but yes it is now $15 a month instead of the $20. The phone is still overpriced through T-Mobile in my opinion versus the same version purchased directly through Google.

        • sagisarius

          Oh… now I got ya! That still a bit much, but I guess at least it’s not $600. I guess with that Master card thing it only boils down to $100 more, which though excessive, is kind of standard for loan type deals. Really though, if they were more competitive with that, they could make a killing.

        • thepanttherlady

          The $50 Mastercard offer is only for new customers porting their lines to T-Mobile from another carrier.

          If you’re already a T-Mobile customer, save the $ if need be and buy direct from Google for $349 ($50 less if you only want the 8GB vs. the 16GB). You can use the phone with T-Mobile for less and without having to renew your contract. :)

  • Dan Garcia

    Yea I’m a T-mo customer and I don’t see any reason to buy it from them over Google

    • You won’t be tied to a 2 year contract, and would be free to take the phone to another carrier if you wanted to. With this MetroPCS merger business, there’s no telling what could happen. $150 more is a small price to pay for that freedom, and much less than the $300 ETF (Early Termination Fee)

  • Metal Maniac

    IS THE FULL RETAIL $599.99 OR $499.99

    • STOP YELLING! ITS ACTUALLY $349.99 IF YOU BUY FROM GOOGLE! Sorry i thought i was in a night club.

    • 21stNow

      So far, it looks like T-Mobile’s full retail will be $499.99.

  • ant

    umm i dont really get this article. the value plan is still cheaper than classic if you buy phone from google direct and get a value plan separately (which is what i did and would still do)

    • 21stNow

      The article is about the customers who would buy the device from T-Mobile on the Value plan, not those customers who would get it from the Play Store.

      • ant

        its not very clear. the value plan, to me, is the actual plan, not the financing portion of the phone.

        • 21stNow

          I agree with your interpretation, but that’s not how T-Mobile markets it. The pricing of the phone with the Value plan for T-Mobile is advertised as $199 down with 20 installments of $15 a month. You and I have to do the math to determine the full price, or read the small print that’s in the store.

          The point of the article is that anyone who comes to T-Mobile to buy the Nexus 4 on a Value plan is overpaying by $150 for the device. The article is more about the typical consumer, not those of us on this blog.

  • Chris

    Looks like someone at T-mobile didn’t do their math right lol. They always match the MSRP, not sure what happened here.

    • 21stNow

      Not at launch. See the BlackBerry Bold 9900 and Galaxy S III for examples.

  • GwapoAko

    If you have cash buy it from Google Play and if you’r broke buy it from Tmobile :0)

    • sorandkairi

      It’s not that… some people literally don’t know better… In other words, they are not us. So it’s not just that simple. I “rep” T-Mobile for 4 but this…this is just crap.

  • Jimmy C

    They are going to lower the Value price by launch time. Without a doubt.


    T-Mobile could’ve taken advantage of this and offered the device free on a classic plan with 2yr agreement, instead of $199, and zero down with 20 payments of $20. That seems more reasonable. If I were running T-Mobile, these would be the moves I would’ve made.

  • kay yon

    Yeahhhh…. I’ll stick with my Note II haha!

  • just me

    If T-mobile is trying to move away from the subsidized phones model, this is not the way to do it. I know there needed to be a mark up or we would have actually been losing money selling this phone. But releasing it for 150 bucks more than what google is selling it for makes the value plans look like a rip-off.

  • Zach Mauch

    The people who will actually be hurt on this are those ignorant to the play store’s selling price. There may be some who knowingly buy through T-Mobile so they only have to pay 199 now, but those morons are few and far between. This is truely a case of T-Mobile ripping off the ignorant and it is very un-cool.

    that said, I’m a huge fan of the value plan and most of T-Mobile’s business practices.

    • Secret Shopper #42

      Sorry, but you are the moron that assumes that everyone reads tech blogs and keeps up to speed with smartphone pricing and availability.

      Most people will see the $199 and compare it to the $249 and the $149. We (the readers) are growing, but far from the majority.

      • Dakota

        Or they don’t even know play store sells devices as the device section doesn’t cone up on the play store phone app..with everything, those of you who post aren’t regular consumers. You’re a tiny segment that knows everything going on..most don’t know any of it. Mostvr still on gingerbread and are fine that they can make calls, text, check email,web & maybe use an app or game now and then

      • Zach Mauch

        might want to re-read my post. I wasn’t calling those who don’t know about Google’s offering (for whatever reason) morons. In fact, I was speaking out for them saying T-Mobile was taking advantage of them.

        The people group I was calling morons were those who knew about google selling it cheaper and still chose the 199 value plan offering since it meant less out of their pocket right now (despite it costing them 200 more in the long run). There is a “i want it now” segment of our population that will do things like that.

        • Emperius

          I’d also include sheeps in there.

  • Noah

    Will T-Mobile sell the 16gb version as well?

    • the only version noted tmo will sell so far is the 16gb

    • remister

      I tweeted tmobile on why the big price difference, they stated that they will have more onboard storage compared to Google’s Playstore version. We will see what they announce.

      • As far as we know for now t-mo is getting the 16gb and we are comparing it to googles 16gb so ask them wth are they talking about unless the 16gb on t-mos is a typo for 32gb then it would be justified.

  • Symsoul

    Great points, David! One other drawback to buying through T-Mobile is that they’ll force you to renew your contract for two years. I believe, Google Play will sell you the device outright, without a contract, unlocked. The site alludes to the phone purchase for a data plan which we know you need to run it properly. But it says nothing of signing a contract.

    Can anyone tell me if I’m off in my understanding?

    • Nearmsp

      Only the first time you go on Value Plan. After that if you do not take their value plan financing (installment plan) or a discount on the phone (cash back) you will be always out of contract. It is worth going in to contract to get the value plan. Also check with your employer. If T-mobile gives discount. That also requires 2 year contract. Load up on discounted value plan phone, new value plan and also discount for the corporation you work for. After the one time goodies, buy own and continue to enjoy the lowest priced monthly plan.

  • Metal Maniac


    Lower out of pocket means just as much to many customers over getting a lower retail from Google….many of you are forgetting Google can afford to do what they want, but it takes T mobile and others to help keep Google in the place they are in with new android accounts.

    • AndroidProfit

      With a budget that tigtt should you even have phone service and be buying new tech toys?

  • vpuik

    I’m guessing Google is willing to take a bigger hit on the unit than T-Mo is. one think I learned in Business school is taht you can’t make up for a loss on each unit with volume.

    • archerian

      did Business school teach you to calculate the BoM for a device? At $299 a device, it doesn’t need a business degree to calculate they won’t be selling for a loss, I reckon it’s around $220 BoM for the Nexus 4.


    It is not a rip off, just get the Value plan best priced plan out there
    then buy the phone from google or any place else you like insert sim and your good to go.

  • Kevin

    Big difference is that if you buy from TMO you get warranty exchanges from TMO instead of dealing with no phone when you send it back to LG for repair.

    • zacamandapio

      Winner, Winner, Winner.
      You got it. A lot of people don’t realize that. As well as insurance issues as well.

  • Rudy Belova

    I take it that means t-mobile might know if im tethering with my one s with my nexus 7 soon? As of now, the system can’t tell the difference and lets me browse the web and watch netflix, but gives me the nastygram text within a minute of browsing on my laptop.

    • jugjug

      Your laptop browser tells tmo that you are not using a mobile device. You have to get the browser to mimic a mobile device when you tether.

      • J-Hop2o6

        ^^ This. use FireFox and download the addon User Agent Switcher and switch to a mobile UA. But I don’t have to use a mobile UA for some reason. I guess its cuhz my phone is rooted ;-) .. But I rarely tether to my computer tho.

  • BigMixxx

    I’m looking at things this way:

    Imagine your plan is to purchase a 16 gig iPhone 5, hell, a 16 gig iPhone 4s:649 and 549 respectively. THEN you have data connectivity questions, i.e. NO 3g/HSPA+, except in certain cities.

    you NOW get a NEXUS 4 for 349….FULL price and getting fabulous network connectivity from our friends at T mobile. LEAVES you room for a tablet. for a little more you get a tablet with HSPA connectivity.

    This blows my thoughts of a Galaxy Note…May as well spend on up and get a 7 with HSPA+

    • Nexus 7 3G plus 8gb Nexus 4 = direct cost of Note 2 out of contract.

  • AndroidProfit

    Wow talking about a bunch of crybabies. Can’t afford it? That ain’t tmobiles fault

    Buy it from Google!

    Just because Google is selling it at a very low price doesn’t mean Tmobile needs to or should.

    Google is bar far a larger company so can afford to do this. Tmobile will promote this phone and stock it. Oh wait does Google have a the overhead of stores? Seriously David this article was nothing but an attempt to feed all the crybabies that saturate your forum and complain about pricing every chance they get.

    • ogopogo

      You have no clue. The “crybabies”, as you have put it, are not complaining about the affordability of the device. They are complaining about the extra $150 that needs to be spent on a device from T-Mobile that is identical to the one offered by Google.

      As you have pointed out, the forum is full of people that complain – meaning YOU.

    • Spanky

      Oh please…there’s a big difference between not being able to afford something and not willing to pay an inflated price. Learn the difference.

      • thepanttherlady

        If I had a cookie, you would get it! :)

        • zacamandapio


        • thepanttherlady

          ok, ok you can have one too! =P

        • zacamandapio


    • Robert, due respect, but that wasn’t my intent at all. It has zero to do with the ability to afford it and an overinflated price. Did I not write that normally I feel the Value Plan pricing is great? Did you really read the article or just skip to the comment like usual to complain?

      • razmid

        who says it’s over-inflated? have you seen what LG is charging T-Mobile for this phone? just like Amazon is doing with the Kindle, Google wants to get people using their products so that they’ll starting buying all of their media from them too – music, books, movies, apps. they’re willing to sell the phone for a loss because they make up for it with that other revenue. t-mobile doesn’t have that same benefit so they charge the actual value of the phone. maybe some on top, but not $150

  • Does the Google Nexus 4 include WiFi hot spot? I have an HTC Sensation and I’m able to enable WiFi hotspot without paying T-Mobile for the privilege of sharing the data I’m already paying for (jerks!).

    • Its a google device so i definitely would bet it has a hotspot ability the only question is t-mobile able to do what it does with the current phones and see if you have a compatible plan first.

  • Michael Brosmer

    As a carrier, it is much more profitable for a customer to bring their own device. Nice round about way to start making money off a customer immediately without the risk of making that money back through a subsidy or financing. Tmo employee btw.

    • archerian

      this is true as long as the customer remains one, via a contract extension, which buying a phone off Google Play doesn’t entail. Imagine someone buys the N4 and moves to prepaid, Straight talk etc.

  • gorilla pants

    If tmo sold this phone at play store pricing, why would anyone buy an sg3, htc one s, or any of the other comparable phones they have huge inventories of? I doubt tmo is worried about play store purchases, cause either way they get the customer. Selling it at a price point similar to their other phones doesn’t undercut their other offerings.

    Most people are pretty conditioned to purchasing a phone along with signing or extending a contract anyway. They aren’t doing math comparing purchasing their own device vs a subsidized phone. Does such a thing even exist for other carriers?

    • Sd card, Removable battery, Higher Internal Storage, Idk it must be a complete mystery…. Some people love SAMOLED but T-mo would get a lot of new Value plans though.

  • hispanicguy92

    I think Nexus 4 playstore price is with 2yr contract from tmobile.. Its not possible for google to sell the phone at 299$ and profit

    • Nope no contracts, they did the very same with the last Nexus which was the Galaxy Nexus. Google makes its money back from us using their services. It is possible, google is just not profiting is all.

  • Jose Hernandez

    David, Correct me if I am wrong. But doesn’t Google subsidize their phone at the play store? I think they eat up some of the cost from the manufacturer to offer them at the lower price? Kind of like they do with the Nexus 7? If that is the case, it would be the reason why Google sells the phone for less. T-Mobile is probably buying the phones at full price from LG. I find it hard to believe that a phone such as this would retail for just $299.99 to $349.99. T-Mobile would, at the very least sell this thing at cost to them so they don’t loose money on it. I would buy mine from the Google Play store and take advantage of the better price, but I also think that the people crying here about the pricing need to keep this in mind. It seem that to get the best deal here, you buy the phone form Google and enjoy it with lower monthly rates on T-Mobile. This is what I might do (want to wait and make sure there will be no big problems with the phone before getting it, it is an LG after all) I hated to get my Galaxy S3 from T-Mobile since I did pay more for it, but it was my choice to do so.

  • Matt

    All of T-Mobiles pricing plans for their phones suck. This is news to you? You always end up paying more then other carriers for the same phone.

    • Stopcrying

      Yup,you’re right,especially when the GS3 is 150 down and 90 a month for unlimited everything. Compared to Verizon’s unlimited talk,text and 4GB at 110 a month,so yeah you’re totally right -_-

  • frednmel

    actually…. even though T-Mobile is asking full retail for this and or any other device… they are also giving classic to value plan customers a great deal… maybe not on the device, but to offset the final monthly bill, T-Mobile is crediting transferring customers a 15 dollar credit off of your data plan… which means, even though you’ll b paying more for the phone, you’ll be paying less for your data service of your choice…. so in the end… value customers will actually be getting the better end of the stick because after the 20 months are up… you could be paying only $5 for your 2gb unless. data service… therefore paying less… way less per month after your device is paid off… just food for thought: )

  • Olivier Boss

    Even the “offer” from T-Mobile for the Samsung Galaxy Note II makes no sense. It’s a slap in the face from T-Mobile to its customers. I think they’ll end up selling much less of those than they anticipated – because of their OVERgreed.
    Whether on a Classic/Legacy plan (ridiculous subsidy to sign up for another 2 years) or, worse, on a “Value” plan – NO subsidy at all (only a possibility to pay part ($400) of the phone over 20 months)!

    T-Mobile, if you’re reading this, it’s time to rethink your strategy. Improving your recent offers will be necessary for customers to buy phones and service from you (and commit for another 2 years) – as alternatives are more and more easy to get (think Straight Talk and the likes). Who knows, you may even get new customers.

    • Sprint & T-Mobile have the S3 for $649.99 full retail depending on how you get a contract changes the price…..how is this greed & they price it the same

      • AndroidProfit

        It’s greed because he can’t afford it so needs someone to blame instead of himself.

  • UMA_Fan

    The worst option is clearly the Classic Plan subsidy. On a Value Plan by paying the $200 down payment you are paying less upfront than buying from Google Play and with the $15 installment payment you are coming up $5 cheaper for 20 months over the Classic Plan. (Then you would save even more because the phone would be paid off.)

    Buying from the Google Play store and then going to the Value Plan would be the cheapest option in a full 24 month period but most expensive upfront.

    So if you’re eligible to switch to a Value Plan without migration fees that’s the way to go. There’s no point on taking the Classic upgrade. You save on the Value Plan whether you buy the phone from T-Mobile or not.

  • noelsito

    Well I guess they might be doing this because Google is hardly making a profit from the Play Store sales right, so with T-Mobile there is some sort of profit? Just a thought.

  • Wilma Flintstone

    Can somebody confirm that USBOTG would work for this as a SD Card Slot? Basically, if I use USBOTG and connect a Flash Drive to it, would it work as an external drive? If so, I may buy the 16gb version FROM THE PLAY STORE.

    • J-Hop2o6

      USB2GO will work. I believe any Android 4.0+ device natively supports that.

  • Unfortunately this price is a necessity as it would otherwise cannibalize sales from every other smartphone they sell and would be a huge blow to the OEM’s and affect future deals with them. This is turn could affect the phones they get in the future and just isn’t a risk they can afford. Imagine being the only carrier without a Galaxy 4.

    • philyew

      I think this a good point that is being largely overlooked. Also we have evidence from the Apple v. Samsung case that TM were paying around $430/unit for the Vibrant back in 2010, so there is no way that the $350 pricing that Google uses in direct sales matches what they will be asking from the carriers for this device.

      Now I have to concede that TM will have known the risks when they chose to become Google’s “premier launch partner”, and so they could have simply treated this as another BYOD. On the other hand, the lack of LTE gives them a clear field with Google’s latest flagship phone.

      Only time will tell whether they have made a mistake, but I don’t really think that greed is what is driving the price point, just questionable risk assessment.

  • Guest

    The only way I can see this price “justified” is if the internal storage is 32 GB or higher…

  • JEM

    The only way I can see this price “justified” is if the internal storage is 32 GB or higher…

  • Wilma Flintstone

    Also this makes me wonder about rumors of other Nexus devices. We know how Tmobile usually gets the second rate devices and for Tmobile to carry the 16gb version of this phone makes me believe that the other carriers will get either an upgraded version of this device or completely new nexus devices altogether.

    I guess I’ll have to wait to see.

    Anyway, I may save my money and spend it on that MeeGo device (WITH AN SD CARD SLOT Most likely) that Jolla should reveal later Next Month on the 21-22nd during the Jolla MeeGo Conference. I’ll make my decision on what phone to buy at that point. Note 2, GS3, Nexus 4 or Jolla MeeGo Phone.

    • Theres no other Nexus’s 5 Devices google would have announced them alone side of N73g N10 and N4

  • Secret Shopper #42

    I know this doesn’t factor in to our purchase decisions, but I’m pretty sure Google will sell this device at a loss. Relative to retail prices in the market, 349 is the price of a mid range phone, not a “Super” phone. (I still lol when I hear “super” phone, btw). Who knows what TMo’s actual cost on the device is, but they’re going to have to market it as a premium device.

    I’d also account for the fact that it’s going to be bone-stock. Meaning, no additional revenue from the pre installed (cr)Apps. Maybe this is part of their decision as well. I think it’s more of the latter.

  • kevev

    Will it have WIFI calling? That is the important question. :o)

    • J-Hop2o6

      Its a pure Google device, so no.

      • sagisarius

        isn’t that wifi calling just an app though?

        • psaux

          I believe the T-mo version requires some OS hooks that need to be inserted to work, so I don’t think it’ll go.

    • I have never used Wifi Calling, so thats a non issue for me, I barely use my voice plan as it is. If you root the phone and flash ROMs, you’ll be able to get Wifi calling on it, someway, hahaha. Devs always find a way

  • briankh

    Send T-mobile a message on twitter @tmobile or Google Plus +T-mobile and tell them what you think about their pricing.

    • Josue

      im sure we all know the answer to that lol

  • FlyerR

    I disagree with David that the classic plan is any better for customers. If you assume that on the classic plan, they are subsidizing you every month, then the subsidy in the case of the Nexus 4 is only $150 over 24 month which is $6.25. This is much lower than subsidy on any other phone — so again the customer gets shafted.

    T-mo — rethink this one. You are making many long time customers (like me >10years) extremely irate.

    • J-Hop2o6

      Then buy it from the Play Store for $350 and get a discounted plan. Simple. Doing the same with my GNex, and will with the N4.

  • T-Mobile

    T-Mobile has not officially announced the price of the Nexus, try not to let TMoNews convince you otherwise. There is a reason T-Mobile does not send TMonews invitations to events and conferences!!

    • Ummm, yes they have, they answered my email with the price, it was announced via their press release and via their PDF on their media kit site. So, yeah, not really. Also, this is the FIRST event in years I haven’t received an invite to, which is why I joked about it on the blog. I’m sure if I asked to attend, I’d be welcomed. Thanks for playing!

      • zacamandapio

        I asked above but, do you know if I bought a phone thru google play if it will be covered by my insurance? I always thought you need a T-mobile phone to be covered. Am I right?

        Thank you,

  • kpr

    T-Mobile needs to wake-up and make sure it do not loose customers with their over pricing. This is outrageous to sell a phone almost 80% margin to its core and valued customers. It should rather give discount and lock the phone for year. They need to do better marketing than this stint

    • J-Hop2o6

      Then buy it from the Play Store and get the Value or PrePaid plan, simple. Tmo won’t lose anyone because of the price because they’ll just end up buying it from the Play Store to get a discounted Plan from Tmo. And It’ll sell fine with the Classic Plan.

  • Josue

    so its $499 full price when the 16GB unlocked version is $350 really?

  • Dakota

    Tmo always shoots itself in the foot. They keep saying they want to be the value carrier yet they keep having highest prices– did it with GS3, Note, now this. They’re counting on uneducated, gullible consumers who don’t read blogs like these. Every time I’ve priced value plans, they didn’t seem much cheaper. It took 20 months (out of 24) to break even & by then, many wanna upgrade. Plus if you have your own unlocked phone, do you need a 2 yr contract?? Even the Tmo store rep told me its all basically smoke + mirrors. Andthe store demos & signage all had the value down payment bolded as the price and the ‘real’ classic plan at the bottom with tiny type..tthat’s only going to frustrate and confuse new people walking into a store to consider tmo & used to the traditional subsidized plans. Esp since T-Mobile has done a horrendous jib promoting Value plans (+real unlimited -carly is ineffective) and their unlimited data. Not a single person including employees at other carriers knew anything @ these.. but then the tmo employee couldn’t even tell me differences between handsets except ‘one is made by Samsung & one by HTC”. REALLY? THATS ALL TMO TRAINS YOU TO SAY?

    • Spanky

      “Every time I’ve priced value plans, they didn’t seem much cheaper. It took 20 months (out of 24) to break even & by then, many wanna upgrade. Plus if you have your own unlocked phone, do you need a 2 yr contract??”
      Thank you! I’ve stated many times that Value Plans only result in substantial savings for customers who don’t regularly upgrade their phones and those who prefer to bring their own phones. For those who like to take advantage of upgrading at subsidized price every 22 months, the savings aren’t as significant as T-Mobile touts.

      • northstar7

        I’m confused by this 2 year contract for the Value plan. If I bring my own phone, why do I need to sign a contract? I bought a Galaxy Nexus outright from Google. I plan to do the same with the Nexus 4. Why would I need to sign a contract to switch from Classic to Value plans? I thought the reason there is a contract term was to allow the carrier to recoup the subsidy.

  • dudereally

    and what makes you think the $349 is a cash price?

    • archerian

      because it has a dollar sign before it :)

  • Erik Neu

    I am very intrigued by your comments about the move toward combining Classic and Value. I am a Classic customer with 5 lines and very cheap data for 3 of them ($10/month with no overages–grandfathered, no longer available–which is fine for my teens). So although I like the Value concept, and see how it pays for 1-2 lines, up till recently, my math suggests the value of the contract discount 5X every 22 months outweighs the value savings.
    The recent Nexus pricing has changed that. I was getting interested at the $349 price point. The $300 price point blows me away. I am an Android purist, so I would rather have Nexus anyway. So I have pretty much resolved to not take any more upgrades, and wait out my contract, or at least get close, and then move to Value. It would be great if Tmo makes it easier to migrate sooner. This is a GREAT innovation on their part.
    (The one downside, maybe, for some people is lack of choice. If you take this deal, it makes Android more like iPhone–only 1 flavor available, albeit a *very good* flavor. I.e., if you want a physical keyboard, or smaller form-factor, or must have an SD card, or don’t trust LG until they have established a good track record, then this doesn’t work so well. Not an issue for me, the Nexus line is always about where I want it, at least so far, )

  • IneedAnswers



    Question to all the tech-people:

    Can I buy an unlocked Nexus 4 and install T-Mobile’s “Wi-Fi Calling” application afterwards?

    • J-Hop2o6

      Highly doubt it. The HW has to be “approved” in Tmo’s system for it to work.

    • sagisarius

      That’s a really good question. If they’re making the app work on that phone anyway, I wouldn’t be surprised if you could get it somehow, and do it. I think right now the google store looks at what carrier and phone you’re on and matches apps to that.

      • PiCASSiMO

        I don’t think the Wi-Fi Calling app is available in the Google Play store. I’m hoping as an alternative, I can download it from another source.

    • squiggleslash


      The Wi-fi calling application requires a custom Linux kernel coupled with radio firmware that supports the feature. In some cases, CyanogenMod has been able to reverse engineer things enough to implement the features for its custom ROMs (I was able to get Wifi calling on my 3G Slide long before the official Froyo update that introduced it on that system, for example, by using CyanogenMod) but thus far the feature has not been implemented on the Nexus range, by T-Mobile, third parties, or anything else.

      The major issue is that if the radio doesn’t support it, it’s not going to work. The radio firmware is generally a “binary blob” – essentially a black box that cannot, without specialist knowledge usually limited to the phone’s designers – be modified in any way. For now, at least, Wifi calling is not going to happen.

      What would be nice would be for T-Mobile to introduce a way to make calls over SIP, so you can just plug in your account details into a bog standard SIP client and effectively get the same functionality.

  • loueradun

    This is a big missed opportunity for T-Mobile to sign up a ton of new Value Plan customers! They could have a down payment of $0, and charge $15 a month for the phone since Google is selling it for so cheap! This would allow people to get in on the value plans at no cost to them for the phones, and T-Mobile would still get the entire cost of the phone from the customer… What were they thinking???

    • rambo bitch

      Hey dipshit your missing the point of value you only pay for the phone over 20 months that would make the phone 200 $ cheaper lol??

  • I loving it

    I believe that you would be paying around the same amount for either phone down that day you would be paying 5 dollars less each month you would end up saving 50 more with the value plan over the classic in this ordeal

    • I work at Tmobile

      I agree with this comment i work at tmobile most the times people dont understand the value plan and think it a bad deal

  • BFF

    Wouldn’t it make more sense to offer for it free or $99 (with a $50 mail in)? Their marketing on this baffles me. They could lock people in for 2yrs instead of driving them to the play store. Makes zero sense.

  • Daibidh

    “Subsidized” pricing is never cool! T-mobile just lays bare what carriers do every day! Wonder why you pay $100/mo with the option to “upgrade” your handset every so often? Tah dah! You’re pre-paying for your next severely overpriced handset every month! I wish every plan on every carrier were this clear and upfront! Value plans rule!

    • Motoki_Mo

      Yes exactly this. It sucks but it’s no different than what all the carriers have been doing for years with subdizied pricing except that here they are being much more transparent about it.
      Most people I know are paying $70-$100 a month for phone service. I pay $30 for 5GB of 4G data, 100 minutes of voice and unlimited texting etc. Just $30. Not $30 plus $20 for this and $10 for that etc. I also have to buy my phones up front so yes there is a trade off but it’s still worth it to me.
      It’s funny, if you give people a cheap phone and then grossly overcharge them for monthly “Services” and add-ons they are are okay with it but if you give them a cheap phone and tell them they are paying the rest in installments (which is exactly what they are doing the other way just hidden from you) they are all up in arms.
      It’s like when Department stores try to do away with inflating their prices to have “sales” and just charge the sale price everyday. People think they are paying more and hate it even though it’s the same thing and but the store is just being more up front with you with the price instead of giving you a false inflated price it was marked down from.

  • Y314K

    Got one ? from stuff I heard posted….

    If one migrates to a Value Plan & one brings their own device(s)… Does that mean that u don’t have to sign a new 2 year contract since u won’ be using the payment contract that requires the 2 years ball & chain ??? Is this hit or miss or is this the actual bring u’r own device to a value plan & avoid the contract policy ???

    • Fredrik Coulter

      If you convert to a value plan, there’s a one time charge to deal with. Go to my.t-mobile.com and see how much they’ll charge you.
      My charge is $350, which may explain why I’m not switching over.

  • missinginput

    Where was the outage when sprint and verizon were selling the galaxy nexus at a starting point of 500 then subsidized while google was again selling a nexus unlocked contract free for 350.
    It just wasnt as noticeable because they dont do value plans and offer a slightly higher subsidy with larger monthly rate plans.

    Also please explain why a classic customer is better off in this situation they are paying 250 with a 50 MIR and are paying at lest $15 a month more in their rate plan vs equal value service

  • any resaon to suspect other Nexus devices will be announced from other manufacturers?

  • Huda Kaleem

    theres a small difference between the 2 devices.. the tmobile version will have HSPA+ 42 and google play version will be HSPA+ 21.. which means you may be able to get higher data speeds if you get the device from tmobile..
    i know these speeds are theoretical, but there were some occasions when i got over 21 mbps data speed on htc one s.. so you will definitely get higher data speeds if buy the device from tmobile..

  • Martin Kachev

    T-mobile and their pricing sucks so bad, It’s like they are trying to squeeze almost anything they can out of you every penny – just because their network sucks (YES YOU HEARD ME!) why? because every country that I have been supports the standard frequencies! T-mobile is the only carrier in the world that doesn’t support the regular 3G and 4G frequencies (Yes I know that they are trying to import that) but I’m not so sure about it, may be they are in a good deal to keep it this way that way dumb people will overpay for a simple (regular) device that you could bought international version for less money – Same situation with Galaxy Note 2, I mean what the hell the international version without stupid Logos of T-Mobile on them same specs for less (unlocked) and your version is like $100 or $150 on top? It’s like you are making me pay because you are dumb enough not to support the frequencies. Don’t you think that most of the people would want a phone without making advertisement of your stupid company everywhere? Don’t you think that I would like to hear one – Thanks – from you just because I’m your customer and I chose you? Don’t you think that I don’t wanna pay more for something that doesn’t cost that much? Do you think that all of us are crazy, I think I would be out of here soon because I’m sick of this policies, You are dealing with the issues just like Apple & AT&T this is not the right way. At the end of the day you guys have poor coverage, no big deal data speeds (yes I know that it’s unlimited and that’s the only thing u got, that’s it zipppo. Pull yourself together, because I know that I’m not the only one that thinks like that, pisz off now!

  • JohnnyDJunior

    Im confused are people saying buy it and use a prepaid Sim because thats what im doing after all if you think about it everywhere you go now adays have WiFi, well in NY. So i use that 200mb 4G then 2G but mostly on WIFI so it doesnt hurt that bad. and i can just sell my Factory Unlocked iPhone 4 for 300. I think thats a Win Win

  • This phone not having an SDcard slot may really be the deal-breaker for me. I like everything else, but if Google is gonna be making phones with internal memory ONLY, they need to be making 32GB and 64GB versions. I mean I utilize about 30GB on my G2 right now-32GB sd card thats about 95% full + 2.5GB of internal memory on my phone. On the 16GB version, how much is usable memory? Probably about 12 or 13GB. I’m not comfortable depending on the Cloud for a lot of my data. I experienced the the Sidekick server disaster of 2008, ahaha. So, I prefer an physical sd that I can transfer from phone to phone. I’m just gonna have to weigh the pros and cons on this phone. And considering my contract is up in December, I may just pay the $350 to Google on the Play store, and not sign a new contract. Plus that will be the unlocked version, which could be taken to another carrier.

  • Metal Maniac

    All of this nonesense over pricing. Many of you sound. unrealistic . Deal with reality!! If you remove the google playstore offer many of you who want the device for the specs would get it however you could. Having the Google offer further exposes how were all being screwewd anyway. I don’t hear nobody complaining about the nearly 700$ for the note or the $550 for the Gs3 and. it is not even as highly speced as this phones is. The reality is you have two ways to get this phone. MOST T MOBILE SUBSCRIBERS WILL BY IT FROM T MOBILE. The savings you would get buying it directly from google won’t look like much compared to everything that comes with carrier support. All of you dummies who dont understand the Value Plan don’t subscribe to it! There is very simple fine print that some of you can’t comprehend, like you will save money…and you will buy the phone at full price. The best thing T mobile can do is sell this phone for either $399 or 499. Make the the down payment only $99 and allow the customer to EIP the remaing 3 or 400$.
    Because of the Google playstore offer T mobile needs to do this. There should be one high end phone not jacked up in price. So what if you lose a few Gs 3 sales. As a Value plan customer I’m willing to do $499 for $99 down. DON’T MAKE THE VALUE PLAN CUSTOMER PAY $ 199 down when current $499 devices like the Galaxy Relay only require .$99 down. Doing value at 99 and classic at $199 is the only choice!!

  • Metal Maniac

    Off topic a bit but still related, does anyone know the specific reason why the T mobile launch date this device is 11/14 vs right now or even Googles 11/13 or even right now?? I personally know isn’t anything related to the holiday season. Anyone with an informed answer, lets hear it!

  • Secret Shopper #42

    You know what would be cool?
    Being able to purchase the Nexus 4 through the Play Store AT a T-Mobile store. This idea is about 45 seconds old, so bare with me. Transactions could be run through the play store on a web browser. Accounting for the inventory would be another issue.

    Someone help me out here. I think this could work.

    • Metal Maniac

      Genius, what you are proposing is exactly what will happen. Maybe you are trying to say, both stores sell for the same price….NOT GONNA HAPPEN!!

  • ohh man

    i wonder if tmobile would be carrying both models and how much it would actually cost from them i know the statement above say 199.99 is that for 8gb model?

  • squiggleslash

    Well, people will still use the value plan, they’re just not going to buy the phone from T-Mobile. They’ll get it from Google and stick a value plan SIM in it.

    I’m wondering if Google is subsidizing the Nexus 4 on their own site, as I just plain don’t understand the pricing here.

  • zacamandapio

    In my opinion Tmobile does this because they’re selling a T-mobile phone that you could get replaced if lost, broken or stolen. I don’t think that if you buy the phone thru Google your insurance will cover it. David, can you check on that please?

  • Fredrik Coulter

    I’m on a classic plan, with family shared minutes. If I switched over to a value plan, I would only save $10 a month, and would be hit with a $350 fee due to all of the contracts that would have to be converted.
    If I get the Nexus under my existing plan, I’ll keep paying the $10 difference and pay $199 for the phone. If I get the Nexus under the value plan, I’ll pay $10 MORE a month, ($10 savings and $20 a month phone payment), and the phone will cost me $549 ($199 for the phone and $350 for the switch).
    If T-Mobile is trying to get me to switch, they’re doing a crappy job of convincing me.

  • ohh man

    just to make it clear for myself for the classic plan its basically 250 with a mail in rebate $50 so 199.99 but does it say how which model it is i hope its 16gb because im afraid 8 wouldnt be enough. Im just so use of having a sd slot for extra storage and i could store picture and music on my sd card and not use the phone memory. i have the g2x which is has 8gb onboard storage but after all the software is add its only have maybe 5gb left. so im kinda caution on getting this even if i really want a nexus device

  • OnlineRefugee

    Obviously this is simply T-Mobile taking advantage of an uninformed or cash strapped customer:

    – Most consumers don’t shop around. So 95% of the shopping public will not be aware of the phone being available at Google. For these people, T-Mobile treats this phone as one more choice for the shopper. In other words, the customer walks into the store and inquires: “I saw some new Google phone on TV, called the Next One, Nextus, Nexium, something next, do you have it?”


    – For those aware of all the phone choices among the carriers, the customers simply don’t have the means to pay (whether cash, Visa, or MC) $400 for a phone. (Taxes and shipping included in the price.) For those people, paying over 20 months enables them to get a hot phone where otherwise they would have to pass.

    What My Crystal Ball Says

    Since prepaid companies like Straight Talk are using AT&T and T-Mobile towers (4G, unlimited talk, text, web) for $45 monthly (taxes included), and no credit check, all that “loan shark” post-paid carriers have to entice penny pinching customers: subsidized phones (where the customer pays $2400 “interest” for that $300 “loan”) or a T-Mobile phone payment plan.

    Alas, in these hard times (where Toys R Us is running commercials for layaway; $4++ gas; and product downsizing-but price up; IMO the “free patio furniture with every purchase” come-on is doomed to failure.

    As I said two years ago, the American consumer is wising up. They are calculating the total cost of phone ownership, especially to get the latest and greatest. Consumers are figuring out it it too costly to have the newest, first cabin phone (especially knowing they will be stuck with the phone for two years, but in six months see a TV commercial saying their phone is old and outdated).

  • JayMoney88

    i agree that’s ridiculous if they are going to keep the pricing like that… Hopefully they change it to $49.99 down and $15 a month otherwise it makes no sense AT ALL.

  • niididdy

    All, you are better off buying from google play. No matter how I look at it pricing at tmobile don’t make a lick of sense. Unless you want to spend more for the same phone for whatever reason. I personally hate contracts and my new goal is to phase my contract out. The Nexus line will help me do just that.

  • newwt

    Thats not bad? You get a phone and 20 months service for $500….. Buy it from the play store for 349$ and get ANY plan and you will end up spending alot more than $500 over 20 months….

    • ctfrommn

      Ummmm, service is not included in the 500$, you have to pay for that on top of the phone cost. So in the end you are paying 150$ more for ZERO added benefit!