T-Mobile USA, gearing up for its long-awaited launch of the iPhone 5 on Friday, is making a new attempt to lure customers of rival carriers who are still carrying around older versions of the Apple smartphone.
The Bellevue-based company tonight announced a new offer to provide an iPhone 5 for $0/down to people who trade in an iPhone 4 or 4S.
Customers will still need to make monthly payments for the device, in addition to their wireless service payments, but T-Mobile says it will also offer a credit of up to $120 depending on trade-in value, which can be used to further reduce that monthly bill. The trade-in offer runs through June 16.
Normally the company will charge $99.99 up front for the iPhone 5 and $20/month over two years to pay off the $579.99 price of the device.
Under T-Mobile’s new strategy, announced two weeks ago, the company is shifting away from traditional wireless contracts and separating the cost of the phone from the wireless service. After its customers pay off their phones, up front or over time, they won’t be charged for the device anymore.