It’s fair to say that the majority of tablet buyers purchase a WiFi-only version of their device. Many would no doubt prefer to get the 3G/4G-enabled model instead – particularly to enjoy the freedom of using their mobile devices on the move – but struggle to justify the added cost of taking out a separate plan for the tablet.
T-Mobile claims that the proportion of tablet buyers who get the WiFi-only model is 90%, a figure that it wants to work on. So, in the latest of its ‘UnCarrier’ initiatives, designed to shake-up the market and distance the company from the other big network operators, T-Mobile has announced that it is ‘unleashing the tablet’ from next week.
We have unleashed TABLETS! No strings attached, no commitments, no 2yr service contracts, 200MB FREE 4G data – current customer or not!— T-Mobile (@TMobile) October 23, 2013
From November 1, the company is giving 200MB of free data to everyone with a tablet – whether you are a current T-Mobile customer or not. You will not be required to sign up to a contract, nor will you be committed to a minimum term – you will just get 200MB of no-strings-attached 4G data.
That means that you can bring your own tablet to the network, but T-Mobile would much rather sell you a new one, of course. The company hopes to convince more tablet buyers to purchase their devices from T-Mobile, and is also offering no-money-down deals on some of its tablets, including the new Apple iPad Air, which would cost $26.25 a month on a two-year handset payment plan, with $0 up-front.
While the 200MB of free data comes with no commitments, you’ll still be required to pay off your device before you can walk away from T-Mobile, if you do purchase a tablet from them. But if you don't buy a tablet from them, T-Mobile says that you can still just take the 200MB without charge and without obligation: "You don't have to have any paying relationship with us at all. We are separating devices from rate plans."
T-Mo says that 200MB is good for “roughly 2500 emails, 800 Instagrams, 200 Vines, 200 minutes of streaming”. For casual users, this will likely be enough to get them through a month of occasional usage on the move. But for heavy users who require a more substantial data package, add-ons are available from $10 a month, as mentioned in this colourfully worded tweet:
Need more data? We've made it affordable! Like as little as $10/month affordable. Have you seen what those other guys charge?! It’s bull****— T-Mobile (@TMobile) October 23, 2013
What do you think of T-Mobile’s new free data plans for tablets? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!