The rumors have been percolating up through the internet for months that Sprint (and parent company SoftBank) was nearing a deal to buy controlling interest in T-Mobile US, but a French company you've probably never heard of just threw a monkey wrench in the works. Iliad has offered $15 billion in cash for 56.6% of T-Mobile.
Not everything in the Android world is super-high-end, and if your carrier is building a brand on being cheaper than the other guys, perhaps having a few cheap phones around isn't a bad idea. Say hello to the Samsung Galaxy Avant, the latest addition to T-Mobile's hardware lineup. The internal specs won't blow anyone away, but with an off-contract price of just $216 (or $9 a month for two years on Jump), they don't need to.
In an angsty blog post today eviscerating the prices AT&T and other carriers charge for family plans, T-Mobile CEO John Legere announced that his company was going to provide customers with even more bang for their buck. From July 30th through September, the carrier will offer a family of four up to 10GB of data for $100. For people who sign up during this time, these rates will last until 2016.
Accessories used to be limited to cases, spare batteries, and the like, but now it can mean smart watches and (overpriced) headphones that cost almost as much as your phone. That's why T-Mobile wants to make it easier to blow cash on them. According to TmoNews, T-Mobile will begin offering Equipment Installment Plans (EIP) for accessories on July 20th.
An LTE version of Samsung's mediocre 8-inch Galaxy Tab 4 came to Verizon last month, and now one has its eyes set on T-Mobile. Like Verizon, the uncarrier is pushing this tablet as a great piece of hardware for families to share. Considering the low 1280 by 800 display, I could see this as a great device to let junior smear peanut butter all over. But at 24 monthly payments of $16 ($384, over $100 more than the Wi-Fi only model), I may have to object.
Update: Well that didn't take long. Here's what T-Mobile had to say in response.
We have seen the complaint filed today by the FTC and find it to be unfounded and without merit. In fact T-Mobile stopped billing for these Premium SMS services last year and launched a proactive program to provide full refunds for any customer that feels that they were charged for something they did not want. T-Mobile is fighting harder than any of the carriers to change the way the wireless industry operates and we are disappointed that the FTC has chosen to file this action against the most pro-consumer company in the industry rather than the real bad actors.
Plenty of people have been eager to get their hands on LG's new flagship, and it looks like T-Mobile may be the first of the big American companies to get it. A PR message this morning said that Magenta will start selling the LG G3 on July 16th, a little over two weeks from now. If you want to make sure you get yours on day one, you can pre-order the phone in black and white at this page.
Update 6/24: In a statement to Tmonews, T-Mobile has confirmed that it has a system in place that allows users (and UpgradeSwap) to check the IMEI to verify whether or not the device is being financed. You can find that tool here.
If a customer wants to purchase a T-Mobile phone and is checking the IMEI number, they should be using our tool for the correct information.
Update 2 6/24: In this ever-increasing back-and-forth battle, UpgradeSwap has now responded with a claim that T-Mo's own system doesn't even work correctly half the time.
T-Mobile announced a great many things yesterday, but not all of them were reason for customers everywhere to rejoice. No, some of the goods are reserved for a select segment of users. Starting today, the carrier is issuing an over-the-air update to the Galaxy S5 (G900TUVU1BNF6) that enables support for voice over LTE connections. To coincide with the news, T-Mobile's VoLTE is now available in a total of fifteen markets.
Listen, I'm not going to one-up John Legere, the man is a living legend in mobile. He seemingly came out of nowhere, and is actively disrupting an industry in the US we had all believed was nigh-undisruptable. (Note: undisruptable is not a word, but it should be, because any word necessary to describe John Legere should, by definition, be a word.)
At last night's Uncarrier 5.0 event, the disruption was in full effect.