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John Legere  (Source: businessweek.com)
T-Mobile is the last of the major U.S. carriers to join the iPhone bandwagon

T-Mobile USA's CEO said that the company will finally begin selling the iPhone and eliminate cell phone subsidies in about three to four months.

"They're all, I would call them, in three to four months as opposed to six to nine months," said John Legere, T-Mobile USA CEO.

Last year, T-Mobile said it would try to bring in more customers from rivals by offering the iPhone and cutting cell phone subsidies in 2013. By eliminating these cell phone subsidies, customers can enjoy lower service prices and more flexibility (meaning that customers will pay the entire purchase price of the phone right off the bat instead of getting a discount in exchange for a two-year contract).

Meanwhile, rivals like Verizon and AT&T still depend on subsidizing cell phones to give device discounts while pulling customers into two-year contracts.

"If the old industry structure chooses to ignore what we do, that's a potential," said Legere.

T-Mobile is the last of the four major U.S. carriers to sell the iPhone. AT&T was the first carrier to sell Apple's smartphone when it was released in 2007. In early 2011, Verizon finally got its hands on the iPhone as well, and later that year, Sprint started selling the iPhone 4 and 4S with unlimited plans (which was a competitive edge, considering AT&T and Verizon had both nixed their unlimited data plans for tiered packages).

T-Mobile is now moving along with its introduction of the iPhone as well, and seeks a competitive edge of its own with the elimination of cell phone subsidies.

T-Mobile also has a few other tricks up its sleeve, such as a possible merger with MetroPCS. The companies are currently seeking approval.

Source: Reuters





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