Rumor Mill: T-Mobile to launch handset trade-in program in shift to Value plans

T-Mobile USA plans to launch a new handset trade-in program in the coming weeks aimed at getting customers to switch over to its new Value plans, which will come without device subsidies, according to a TMoNews article.

The report, citing internal T-Mobile promotional material for the program, said that the trade-in program will be aimed at reducing the sticker shock for customers who sign up for the carrier's Value plans.

The program will allow customers to bring in their existing device and trade it in to get an instant discount on a new phone equal to the trade-in value of the existing device, the report said. Customers will also be able to apply the funds toward a prepaid debit card or toward their monthly service bill. Customers can also get the quoted trade-in value of their phone and then wait two weeks to decide what to do, the report said.

A T-Mobile spokeswoman declined to comment.

Under T-Mobile's Value postpaid plans, customers can pay the full cost of a device upfront in exchange for a lower monthly rate. Alternatively, customers can pay off the cost of their device in monthly installments over the course of 20 months. It is unclear when T-Mobile will make the switch to its new rate plan system, which is part of its new "Uncarrier" branding and marketing.

T-Mobile CEO John Legere said in early January that the carrier expects to begin offering Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone "in three or four months." The carrier will also discontinue its phone subsidies when it launches the iPhone, he said.

Executives from other carriers, including AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T) and Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S), have said they will study how T-Mobile's new plans are performing in the market before deciding if they want to follow suit and also eliminate device subsidies.

For more:
- see this TMoNews article

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