Earlier today, T-Mobile opened pre-orders for the iPhone 5. It’s the carrier’s hope the iPhone and its new contract-free plans will help it retain and attract new customers. Time will tell if T-Mobile’s “un-carrier” strategy is a success, but it was enough to make me stay with the company for the foreseeable future.
After a lengthy debate with myself, I decided to pre-order the iPhone 5 from T-Mobile. Doing so required me to migrate my Classic plan to one of T-Mobile’s new Simple Choice plans. This wasn’t exactly an easy decision. Strangely enough, I was a little afraid to leave my contract behind. I know it sounds nuts, but contracts have always been a part of my mobile life. I know not being tied to a contract is rarely a bad thing, but it’s what I was used to. The contract monkey had me questioning T-Mobile’s intentions. “What’s their angle?” “What’s the catch?” “What aren’t they telling me?” After running the numbers, I saw I’d be saving a little bit of money every month. It’s a negligible amount, but it’ll build over time.
After settling with the service plan, I started to wonder if the iPhone 5 was worth being tied to T-Mobile. Sure there’s no contract, but the phone is locked to the network until it’s paid off. I thought I could wait until Google I/O in May to see what the next Nexus device will be. If it’s priced like the Nexus 4, $300 could be the start of a truly free mobile experience. Then again, I’ve been looking for a change. I’ve been using Android smartphones since the myTouch 3G, and I wanted to try something else on a daily basis.
So now I’m settled on the iPhone, but why the iPhone 5? Apple will likely announce its successor before the summer is over right? I figured if the update is minor, like the iPhone 4 to 4S, I can ignore being a generation behind. Then again, T-Mobile will allow customers to trade in their devices to pay for new ones as well. If I were on a contract, upgrading the phone would be much more expensive.
I suppose the bottom line here is change is not always easy. The contract I had for years is now gone. The OS I’ve become accustomed to will no longer follow me everywhere. It’s a new start for T-Mobile, and by association, a new start for myself.