By Jimmie Geddes email: firstname.lastname@example.org | Feb 03, 2013 12:32 PM EST
Ever since Apple and T-Mobile announced in December that the last of the four carriers in the U.S. would begin selling Apple products in 2013, many wondered when the carrier would begin selling the iPhone 5. It now appears that the smartphone will be available by mid-April at the latest.
T-Mobile's CEO John Legere said in an interview that the carrier would begin offering the iPhone in three to four months. Sources are now reporting that the iPhone 5 will hit T-Mobile by mid-April at the latest. Even though the carrier doesn't officially offer an iPhone currently, it has more than 1.9 million iPhone users on its network using unlocked iPhones.
T-Mobile is going to take a new approach, not very familiar to U.S. customers, by selling the smartphone unsubsidized at full price instead of making a customer sign a 2-year contract over the life of the device. T-Mobile is betting on customers being more attracted to buying a device at full price in return for getting out of signing a new 2-year contract, which locks the customer to that device for 2 years before qualifying for an upgrade. Any smartphone owner will tell you that two years is a long time to wait before upgrading to a new device.
T-Mobile has also recently scheduled a vacation blackout for employees beginning in the last two weeks of March and going through the first two weeks in April. It remains to be seen if T-Mobile's new approach to selling devices at full price will take off with Americans, but at least T-Mobile customers will have their own official iPhone very soon.