T-Mobile raises prices on some LTE tablets after promotion ends

T-Mobile US (NYSE:TMUS) increased the prices of some of its LTE tablets a little more than a month after declaring with great fanfare that it would let customers purchase LTE-enabled tablets for the same price as Wi-Fi models.

A T-Mobile spokesman told FierceWireless that the change is "not a reversal," and that "this was always a limited time offer that was available to postpaid customers starting on April 12." The promotion ended May 12. Indeed, T-Mobile stated in a footnote its press release announcing the offer that it would be a limited time offer, though that was not prominently advertised by the carrier at the time.

Last month T-Mobile cut the price of a number of tablets for customers who activated a 1 GB or higher mobile Internet data planFor example, T-Mobile said customers could buy the LTE-enabled Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) iPad Air for just $499 (the same price as the Wi-Fi-only model and far below the $630 price for the LTE-enabled version Apple charges).

However, as TMoNews noted, T-Mobile is now charging $600 for the full retail cost of the 16 GB LTE-enabled iPad Air. The 16 GB LTE-enabled iPad Mini now $504, not $399 as it had been under the promotion. Yet the LTE-capable Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 is still retailing for the discounted $200, not the previously higher cost of $312.

Although T-Mobile is no longer discounting the cost of some of its tablets, it said it will continue to discount the cost of tablet data service through this year. Under the promotion initially announced last month, T-Mobile is offering $10 off its most popular mobile Internet data plans through the end of 2014. The offering is available for new and existing customers. The carrier's 1 GB tablet plan is $20 per month, but customers already get a $10 discount when they also purchase a postpaid phone plan on the same account. So for voice customers, what that means is they can get up to 1 GB of LTE tablet data free every month through the end of the year. That will be on top of the 200 MB of free data tablet customers automatically get from T-Mobile as long as they keep their tablet active on T-Mobile's network.

Once customers have used all the high-speed data allotted on the data option, their data speed will automatically be slowed down to 2G web speeds for the remainder of their billing cycle.

T-Mobile CMO Mike Sievert confirmed the changes in a post on Twitter, saying that the "free data offer stays. Tablets remain below competition but a little above WiFi-only. Best deal in wireless!"

For more:
- see this TMoNews article
- see this Twitter post

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