T-Mobile says most of its 3,000 stores were overrun on Friday by droves of customers eager to obtain unlocked iPhone 5, iPhone 4S and iPhone 4 smartphones. "Today has been gangbusters for T-Mobile," CMO Mike Sievert told AllThingsD. In another interview, Sievert told Cnet that it was one of the biggest weekends ever for the company.
T-Mobile, America's fourth largest mobile carrier, recently announced a paradigm-shifting contract-free plan offering unlimited text, talk and tethering at no additional cost -- all for $50 per month.
Figures haven't been released yet, but it'll be interesting to get some numbers on just how effective T-Mobile's recent make-over has been.
As part of the change-up, T-Mo also announced it would begin offering Apple's iPhone. Interestingly, it also rolled out an iPhone trade-in program which promises customers $120 credit toward a new iPhone with no up-front cost. No doubt this sparked some additional interest and helped fuel those long -- even if brief -- Friday lines.
Over a million subscribers had already been unofficially using their iPhones on T-Mobile's network. That's even despite a few drawbacks -- namely limited data speeds, coverage and MMS problems. However, the iPhone 5 being sold by T-Mo boasts a number of important differences which address those shortcomings, like adding 42 HSPA+ fallback and HD Voice calling. Meanwhile, existing iPhone 5 owners hoping to migrate from AT&T to T-Mobile can already do so without much fuss, as GigaOm notes.
Although currently T-Mobile only covers seven markets with 4G LTE coverage, it is working on expanding its high-speed 4G LTE network to many more cities over this summer.
If T-Mobile's contract-free offering is successful, competing industry monoliths may follow. Verizon said it is open to eliminating contract plans and that it will be closely monitoring T-Mo's success.
The Apple iPhone 5 is the latest flagship smartphone from Apple. The iPhone 5 features a 4-inch display retains the same 326 PPI density as its predecessor with an effective resolution of 1,126 x 640, and a new Lightning connector. The new handset now features 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi with 802.11n supporting dual-band 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequencies. Bluetooth 4.0 is back in addition to GPS and GLONASS for location services.
The iPhone 4S looks identical to last year's model but comes in a new 64GB flavor and upgrades the camera to include an 8-megapixel sensor with improved low-light performance and 1080p video capture. In terms of performance the new iPhone is reportedly up to 2x faster and is also capable of running on faster HSPA+ networks, reaching theoretical download speeds of up to 14.4Mbps.
The Nexus 4 is Google’s flagship handset that shipped along Android 4.2 Jelly Bean. The Nexus 4 packs a 1.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon S4 processor, a 4.7-inch 1280 x 768 IPS display, 2GB of RAM, dual cameras (1.3MP front, 8.0MP back), and either 8GB or 16GB of internal storage. Google also baked in NFC support and wireless charging.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 is the latest tablet from Samsung's Note family. It runs Android 4.1.2 and packs an 8-inch display with 1,280 by 800 pixels. The Note is powered by a 1.6GHz quad-core Exynos chip and 2GB of RAM, it also includes a 5-megapixel rear camera, 1.3-megapixel front-facing shooter and a 4,600mAh battery.
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