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T-Mobile CEO John Legere. (T-Mobile Photo)
T-Mobile CEO John Legere. (T-Mobile Photo)

Verizon recently announced changes to the types of plans it offers, simplifying pricing and dropping phone subsidies and contracts.

If you think the changes sound familiar — you’re not alone.

These are the pillars of T-Mobile’s so-called “un-carrier campaign,” and CEO John Legere didn’t waste any time in pointing that out on Twitter.

Verizon’s latest move, announced on Friday but going into affect on August 13, is the latest example of how the little guy from Bellevue is steering wireless giants.

By the time you buy your next phone, you’ll mostly likely be on an T-Mobile-style plan — no matter which carrier you use. As far as Legere is concerned, that’s something to be proud of.

T-Mobile was a distant fourth in the industry when it started introducing new — and risky — plans in 2013. Instead of giving massive phone discounts and then locking subscribers in for years, T-Mobile’s idea was to unbundle device payments and service plans. Customers would buy their own phones and then pay separately for whatever kind of service they wanted. T-Mobile would let you pay for your phone in installments, but eventually you paid the full amount.

It meant T-Mobile’s customers would have no contracts, so they could leave any time. And the company would stop subsidizing phones, instead telling customers they’re buying an iPhone for the full $650 while rivals advertised the discounted $200 price.

It was a radical shift, but consumers responded well and now the new wireless model is becoming ubiquitous.

AT&T hasn’t done away with the old model entirely, but it’s pushing customers that direction with its Next plans. Two-thirds of AT&T customers who bought a smartphone last quarter did so without a subsidy, according to ReCode. Sprint, which T-Mobile recently jumped to claim the No. 3 largest carrier title, is also moving that way with its new All-In price that includes phone leasing.

Verizon has also been moving toward the T-Mobile model with its Verizon Edge plans. But beginning later this month there won’t even be an option for phone subsidies or contracts. Under the new plans, customers pay for whatever phone they want, an access fee based on the type of device and then buy small, medium, large or x-large data buckets depending on their needs.

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