Smartphone users absolutely hate limited data plans, but the big carriers don't seem to be changing their minds on the matter. T-Mobile saw that as an opportunity and started offering unlimited data plans to its customers. Now it just needs the iPhone and its future as a major wireless carrier may just be assured.
At CES, T-Mobile CEO John Legere told Reuters that his company will begin selling the iPhone to its customers within the next three to four months. The move will allow T-Mobile to properly compete with the big guys who offer a wide range of iPhone options, but tether them to expensive data plans and contracts. T-Mobile is going to change that.
During the same time frame, Legere says that T-Mobile will also be doing away with phone subsidies. He sees the one-two combination of iPhone availability and phone subsidy removal as an opportunity to grow the company's market share by five percent. While the removal of phone subsidies will drive the price of phones up, it will allow T-Mobile to offer cheaper service, including its unlimited 4G data plans.
Of course, T-Mobile customers won't have to wait until the carrier gets the iPhone to start using Apple's wonder device. The carrier lets owners of unlocked iPhones switch over to its network quite easily.
It's unclear if T-Mobile's strategy of going against the predominant carrier model will be successful, but it will at least be interesting. If it is successful, it may convince other carriers to bring unlimited data plans. It just might be worth paying full price for our phones if we get cheaper data plans out of it.