The news makes good on a promise by the company’s chief executive Mike Sievert to offer discounts on the new iPhone 12 lineup after Apple touted similar discounts from Verizon during its product keynote address.
Appearing on CNBC, Sievert said T-Mobile would also offer promotional pricing for the phone — the first by Apple to offer the latest 5G wireless standard — but said the discounts had not yet been programmed in on Apple’s end.
On Wednesday, T-Mobile unveiled its promotional discounts for both new and existing customers who want to upgrade to a new iPhone 12 and are willing to trade in an eligible Apple device.
Customers who trade in an iPhone 11 Pro, iPhone 11 Pro Max, iPhone XS or iPhone XS Max will see the biggest discount — $850 off any new iPhone 12 series device. That discount will come with a few strings attached, though, including activation of a new line of service, signing up for AutoPay and committing to service for at least 30 months. The deep discount is intended to lure customers away from Verizon, AT&T and smaller prepaid services.
Existing customers who don’t want to add a new line of service will also be offered a discount of up to $500 when they trade in an eligible Apple device, with the biggest discount offered to customers willing to part with newer-model devices. Like new customers, existing customers must commit to AutoPay and 30 months of uninterrupted service to receive the discount.
And for the first time, T-Mobile says it wants to reward subscribers who have been with the company for at least five years: Those customers will get $200 off any new iPhone with an eligible trade in. That offer can be combined with the $500 discount for existing customers, meaning long-term customers stand to save $700 off the purchase of any new iPhone 12 series phone.
T-Mobile says it will begin taking pre-orders of the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro on Friday, October 16. The normal retail cost of the iPhone 12 is $800 for the base model and $1,000 for the iPhone 12 Pro. The cheaper iPhone 12 Mini and most-expensive iPhone 12 Pro Max won’t be offered for sale until early November.
“The launch of iPhone with 5G represents a major milestone, and we’re going big at launch with a big offer,” Sievert said in a statement. “There’s never been a better time to get on the nation’s largest 5G network.”
T-Mobile’s announcement comes after Apple offered preferential treatment to Verizon during its product keynote on Tuesday. Apple’s chief executive Tim Cook specifically mentioned promotional pricing on the iPhone 12 series of phones for Verizon customers, and Verizon’s chief executive touted the company’s milli-meter wave spectrum of 5G, which offers gigabyte download speeds and fast upload speeds.
But Sievert and T-Mobile remain bullish on two other components of 5G: Low-band and mid-band spectrum, which travels farther than milli-meter wave frequencies and is able to penetrate walls and buildings easier. Speeds on both bands of frequencies is significantly faster than the previous-generation wireless broadband standard known as 4G LTE.
“Verizon talked today about millimeter wave for a reason: They’re talking out of their book,” Sievert said during an interview on CNBC. “That’s all they’ve got.”
I may even reward some of my standout students 😉 🎉
— Mike Sievert (@MikeSievert) October 14, 2020
On Wednesday, Sievert began offering “5G University” classes through Twitter in which he continued to tout the benefits of T-Mobile’s 5G services over rival Verizon’s. He offered to “reward some of my standout students,” eventually promising to send a free iPhone 12 to one Twitter user.