T-Mobile to make people pay full price for its phones in 2013

There's already been some big news from today's T-Mobile investor conference; namely that the wireless carrier will begin offering some unnamed Apple products for sale in 2013. Now there's word of an even bigger shakeup in how T-Mobile will handle sales of both its phones and its wireless calling plans next year.

Engadget reports that T-Mobile announced plans to move its customers to their "Value Plans" exclusively in 2013. T-Mobile's Value Plans entail customers purchasing new phones at their full price, rather than at reduced prices that are subsidized by a multi-year contract. Value Plans typically have lower monthly fees than those under contract. T-Mobile also allows users to bring in their own phones and use the company's SIM cards under their Value Plans. There's no word on any specific dates for when this new system will begin.

On the one hand, this is a big and bold move by T-Mobile, which is currently the fourth largest wireless provider in the US, behind Verizon AT&T and Sprint. It certainly will make T-Mobile stand out and it will also provide customers with cheaper monthly fees for its phones.

On the other hand, the big wireless carriers typically hook customers on their service with cheap prices for the latest smartphones in exchange for keeping them under contract for two years. That system seems to have worked pretty well so far. It remains to be seen if T-Mobile's move will be one that is viewed as competitive or one that's seen by consumers as charging them more up front for a smartphone.

Source: Engadget | Image via T-Mobile

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