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T-Mobile slashes $130 off new LTE-enabled iPads, matching Apple's Wi-Fi-only prices

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
T-Mobile announced on Thursday that it is offering a limited-time $130 discount on the price of new 4G LTE iPad Air and iPad with Retina display models, matching the cost of comparable Wi-Fi-only models, while also still including 200 megabytes of free data every month for life.




The fourth-largest wireless provider in the U.S. will be offering the 16-gigabyte iPad Air with 4G LTE connectivity for $498.96, or just a few cents less than the Wi-Fi-only model in the same capacity. The $130 discount applies to all models, including iPad mini with Retina display, which can be purchased with 4G LTE starting at $398.88.

In addition, T-Mobile announced that beginning on April 12, customers can get nearly 1.2 gigabytes of free 4G LTE data every month through until the end of 2014. The carrier has already been offering 200 megabytes per month for free to all new iPad purchases since last October, but it is now offering $10 off its most popular data plans through the end of the year.

With that discount, a 1-gigabyte-per-month tablet data plan would actually be free for the rest of 2014, with a qualifying postpaid voice and mobile Internet service through T-Mobile.

"With this announcement, T-Mobile's launching a full-on assault against the restrictions and pain points that keep tablet owners from experiencing life beyond the Wi-Fi zone," said John Legere, president and CEO of T-Mobile. "The Un-carrier is all about solving pain points, and today we're eliminating every reason to be stuck on an unconnected Wi-Fi-only tablet. There's no longer any need to limit the use of your tablet because you're intimidated by Big Blue, Bad Red or Bumbling Yellow."




In addition, T-Mobile is also continuing to offer payment of early termination fees from competing carriers for customers who want to switch. Users must simply bring in their tablet to receive an instant credit based on their value, and then purchase any tablet, including Apple's iPad, at the same discounted same-as-Wi-Fi price.

Some customers may also qualify for zero-down financing on their iPad purchase for up to 24 months.

The new iPad discounts are part of T-Mobile's self-described "Un-carrier" strategy, which seeks to differentiate it from its competition, chiefly the three larger U.S. providers: AT&T, Verizon and Sprint. In its efforts, T-Mobile has also increased data cap levels, and launched free global roaming for data and text messages.

The iPhone and iPad both debuted on T-Mobile last year, a coup that is credited with helping the carrier reignite growth and chip away at competitors. Prior to that, AT&T attempted to purchase T-Mobile, but the deal fell through after facing scrutiny from the U.S. government.
post #2 of 24
Wow, that's pretty aggressive.

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post #3 of 24

I would venture to guess that T-Mobile recognizes that Apple is likely to launch updated iPads soon and clearing the inventory makes sense at this point.  Although I have an Air, I'll reinvest to get a new one with Touch ID, as it was the one thing the iPad was lacking - made noticeable after getting the 5s and recognizing how great it is not to have to type in passwords all the time.

post #4 of 24
OK, so how do I do it? At http://www.t-mobile.com/ I only see full list prices and no options for the free data plan. Obviously I'm in the wrong place.
post #5 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by jmgregory1 View Post
 

I would venture to guess that T-Mobile recognizes that Apple is likely to launch updated iPads soon and clearing the inventory makes sense at this point.  Although I have an Air, I'll reinvest to get a new one with Touch ID, as it was the one thing the iPad was lacking - made noticeable after getting the 5s and recognizing how great it is not to have to type in passwords all the time.

Unlikely.

 

Like the iPhone, the iPad product release cycle is typically about a year. Neither the iPad Air nor iPad mini with Retina Display are expected to be updated in the next couple of months.

 

Clearing the inventory right now doesn't make any sense especially because T-Mobile is offering the same LTE discount on competitors' tablets and isn't offering any discount whatsoever on wifi-only models. Also, there is no incentive to give away free data if they are just trying to draw down inventory of certain current models.

 

Moreover, I doubt T-Mobile carries more than 60-days worth of inventory on any Apple device on its shelves.


Edited by mpantone - 4/10/14 at 12:15pm
post #6 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by GrumpyCat View Post

OK, so how do I do it? At http://www.t-mobile.com/ I only see full list prices and no options for the free data plan. Obviously I'm in the wrong place.

The graphics I see on the T-Mobile USA page says "Starting April 12th" and there's a big pink "Learn More" button.

 

Apparently, you need to have a qualifying postpaid phone plan to be eligible for the free gigabyte of data. Note that since the promotion does not start for two more days, it might not be available from the online store yet (you'd still need the eligible phone plan).

 

Note that you can get 200MB of monthly 4G data free, just take your iPad into a store (you might be subject to a $10 SIM starter kit fee). This was covered in depth when the T-Mobile unveiled that offering about six months ago.

post #7 of 24
I'd rather have an iPad 4 with more storage. My digits keep triggering the screen with the reduced bezel. Just sayin.
 
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post #8 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by mpantone View Post
 

The graphics I see on the T-Mobile USA page says "Starting April 12th" and there's a big pink "Learn More" button.

 

Apparently, you need to have a qualifying postpaid phone plan to be eligible for the free gigabyte of data. Note that since the promotion does not start for two more days, it might not be available from the online store yet (you'd still need the eligible phone plan).

 

Note that you can get 200MB of monthly 4G data free, just take your iPad into a store (you might be subject to a $10 SIM starter kit fee). This was covered in depth when the T-Mobile unveiled that offering about six months ago.

Of course I would only find the April 12 page after posting a comment.  :-)

 

Will have to wait until April 12 to see all the conditions. No longer have a postpaid T-Mobile account, got tired of waiting for iPhone. The free 200MB data iPad accounts don't seem to need a postpaid phone, only possibly a $10 SIM. I'll bite if I can get $130 off a cellular iPad Air with free data. Else wait for AT&T to make a counteroffer.

post #9 of 24

200mb free, wow, you Americans are getting ripped off.

post #10 of 24

Yes. US mobile operators suck.

post #11 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by pazuzu View Post

I'd rather have an iPad 4 with more storage. My digits keep triggering the screen with the reduced bezel. Just sayin.

Seriously, go.
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post #12 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

Seriously, go.

Absolutely NO.
 
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Where's the new Apple TV?
 
 
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post #13 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by GrumpyCat View Post
 

Of course I would only find the April 12 page after posting a comment.  :-)

 

Will have to wait until April 12 to see all the conditions. No longer have a postpaid T-Mobile account, got tired of waiting for iPhone. The free 200MB data iPad accounts don't seem to need a postpaid phone, only possibly a $10 SIM. I'll bite if I can get $130 off a cellular iPad Air with free data. Else wait for AT&T to make a counteroffer.

tmo will pay your etf off with att if switch. on tmo $70 unlimited plan you also get 5gig free mobile hotspot for free.

and you can byod. 

post #14 of 24
T-Mobile iPhone 4s customer for over a year now. I am very unimpressed with the service. But I don't have anything to compare it to since I haven't used any other carriers in years.
post #15 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by pazuzu View Post

I'd rather have an iPad 4 with more storage. My digits keep triggering the screen with the reduced bezel. Just sayin.

What does more storage have to do with the bezel?
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post #16 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by tyler82 View Post

T-Mobile iPhone 4s customer for over a year now. I am very unimpressed with the service. But I don't have anything to compare it to since I haven't used any other carriers in years.

I had the same experience when I had an iPhone 4S on T-Mobile, so I gave up the service, switched to a T-Mobile MVNO which was decidedly worse (but cheaper). The iPhone 4S works much better incidentally with a AT&T MVNO like Straight Talk.

 

Then I switched to the iPhone 5s and went back to T-Mobile (their cheapo $30 Monthly4G prepaid service with LTE). It works pretty darned good in urban areas here in the SF Bay Area! Ditto for my iPad mini with Retina which replaced an iPad 2 also using a T-Mobile MVNO (3G HSPA only).

 

The iPhone 4S is the issue; T-Mobile's spectrum allocation is mostly on special frequencies that the iPhone 4S doesn't support. Switch to a newer device that supports T-Mobile's LTE and 3G frequencies, and the problems largely disappear.

 

Of course, if you're in a rural area, T-Mobile will continue to suck, regardless of the handset.


Edited by mpantone - 4/10/14 at 6:43pm
post #17 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Evilution View Post
 

200mb free, wow, you Americans are getting ripped off.

 

Show me someone offering more data FOR FREE.

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post #18 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by jmgregory1 View Post
 

I would venture to guess that T-Mobile recognizes that Apple is likely to launch updated iPads soon and clearing the inventory makes sense at this point.  Although I have an Air, I'll reinvest to get a new one with Touch ID, as it was the one thing the iPad was lacking - made noticeable after getting the 5s and recognizing how great it is not to have to type in passwords all the time.

 

Far more likely that T-Mobile wants customers for its data plans, on which it makes way more money than it does on selling devices. Big price cuts = free publicity, as we see here.

post #19 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by mpantone View Post
 

I had the same experience when I had an iPhone 4S on T-Mobile, so I gave up the service, switched to a T-Mobile MVNO which was decidedly worse (but cheaper). The iPhone 4S works much better incidentally with a AT&T MVNO like Straight Talk.

 

Then I switched to the iPhone 5s and went back to T-Mobile (their cheapo $30 Monthly4G prepaid service with LTE). It works pretty darned good in urban areas here in the SF Bay Area! Ditto for my iPad mini with Retina which replaced an iPad 2 also using a T-Mobile MVNO (3G HSPA only).

 

The iPhone 4S is the issue; T-Mobile's spectrum allocation is mostly on special frequencies that the iPhone 4S doesn't support. Switch to a newer device that supports T-Mobile's LTE and 3G frequencies, and the problems largely disappear.

 

Of course, if you're in a rural area, T-Mobile will continue to suck, regardless of the handset.

Thanks, I was hoping someone would respond to give me hope! I'll wait for the iPhone 6 to upgrade. With the $50- 100 a month I save by not being burdened by ATT or Verizon, it will more than pay itself off. Right now I'm on the $50/ month unlimited talk/ text/ web.. and the data speed is limited since the 4s is only capable of 3G, so still not getting all my money's worth. 

 

I live in Sacramento and travel a lot to the Bay Area. Service is much worse in the city.. pretty sure it's all the hills. 

post #20 of 24
This is probably a good indication of how profitable cellular data service really is for the provider. TM can afford to give away the hardware to stimulate paying customer demand for data. The free 200MB/month is more or less irrelevant, since few people could do anything useful within that constraint anyway.
post #21 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by tyler82 View Post

Thanks, I was hoping someone would respond to give me hope! I'll wait for the iPhone 6 to upgrade. With the $50- 100 a month I save by not being burdened by ATT or Verizon, it will more than pay itself off. Right now I'm on the $50/ month unlimited talk/ text/ web.. and the data speed is limited since the 4s is only capable of 3G, so still not getting all my money's worth. 

I live in Sacramento and travel a lot to the Bay Area. Service is much worse in the city.. pretty sure it's all the hills. 

Except that you're forgetting the T-Mobile's '4G' is really 3G+ (HSPA) which your 4S can get.
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post #22 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post


Except that you're forgetting the T-Mobile's '4G' is really 3G+ (HSPA) which your 4S can get.

 

You realize there is also HSPA+ which T-Mobile supports. I think the iPhone 4S was HPSA only, not "+". Off the top of my head(if I remember correctly), you have GPRS, Edge, 3G, HSPA, HSPA+, LTE, and then LTE Advance. Depending on where you live, T-mobile's HSPA+ is as good as AT&T's LTE.

post #23 of 24
As someone said earlier, the iPhone 4S does not support the 3G radio spectrum that tmo uses. So there's no way that the iPhone 4S will deliver 3G/4G HSPDA or HSPA+ speeds on tmo. For the iPhone 5 and 5C/5S, Apple gave it a new set of radios that will work on tmo allocated frequencies, so you will get LTE and HSPA+ speeds on your iPhone, provided that you purchase the iPhone model that supports those frequencies. Not all of them do.
post #24 of 24
FYI, you can get a free T-Mobile SIM card here (normally $10), online only:

http://prepaid-phones.t-mobile.com/sim-card?cmpid=WTR_AF_ALLAFFLTS_6QE0IQXZSJY209
Edited by libertyforall - 4/13/14 at 8:10am
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