The day that
T-Mobile gets the iPhone will be remembered as glorious by everybody who's
dropped 12 calls in a row, been taunted by meaningless signal bars
stared lecherously at all their friends' nubile iPhones and just plain had a miserable
T-Mobile Sidekick experience. But they shouldn't buy one.
Let's keep in mind what Apple—or rather,
T-Mobile—announced, precisely. A new carrier for the iPhone
5. [And new plans we already knew about.] That's it. Not a new product. That's why Apple ceded the stage to
Apple will announce a new iPhone
this fall, as they have every year since
2011. It'll go on sale later that month,
or in early July
, as it has every year. That's six[ish] months from now. And it'll be better than the iPhone
5 in some tangible way. Maybe not on the order of the leap from the
4S to the iPhone
5, but it'll have something new to offer. And everybody will want it, because that's how things seem to work with Apple: There's just enough new to make whatever Apple product you've currently got in your hand feel deficient in some way.
But the people who just bought on an iPhone
will be locked into new 2-year contracts
will have a $500+ phone to pay down, which are theirs to re-sell unlocked, but will still be sold at a loss by then. Their new phones, though
maybe better at holding calls better than their AT&T counterparts
the only iPhones equipped with HD Voice, will still be old news just a few months after birth. Maybe
AT&T will even get mobile hotspots like Verizon, eventually
Sprint's LTE network will be worth a damn and make its unlimited plans even better. And what if the iPhone does the same thing to
T-Mobile it did to AT&T [or if T-Mobile's burgeoning LTE network stinks as bad as Sprint's]? Let everybody else be an early adopter.
It's possible that
T-Mobile will come up with some crazy deal to make its warmed-over iPhone
5 undeniably tempting—
unlimited data would be a start, since the phones cost the same as on AT&T
like a steep discount. But the only deal you should consider is one that'll let you upgrade to the next iPhone almost immediately, like
a one-year contract
enough savings to bite the bullet and sell your 5 quickly this fall. I wouldn't count on anything too wild, though, because
Verizon is the most conservative carrier of the four-it's got the best combined network and hardware position now, and it knows it
T-Mobile already went sort of batshit crazy with its no-contract/no-subsidy model. Remember? It's
Verizon who passed up the iPhone in the first place, not the other way around
just finally getting the iPhone 5, and will very likely have some strong promotions at the next iPhone launch, when it's finally on even footing with the other carriers.
It's virtually guaranteed that the next iPhone will come to AT&T and Verizon [and Sprint and T-Mobile] at the same time (there
might be some
will be no gap,
but it will likely be small
-after all, Apple doesn't want to hose their 100 million potential new customers). So if you're on
T-Mobile, itching to the pull the trigger, do yourself a favor. Just wait. You've held on for years. What's a few more months?
Portions of this post were borrowed from a previous feature .