T-Mobile has decided to end all of its two-year contract agreements in January 2013. The national carrier will move to unlocked phones and full-price, prepaid monthly plans with its customers – a feat that many believe will not be so easy to sell, at least initially.
Although T-Mobile knows where it’s headed, the company is not standing around waiting for 2013 to come; instead, the Deutsche Telekom child phone carrier is starting its prepaid plans today, December 21, 2012 with a “Zero Down” sale for interested customers. Today, you can get top Android phones with $0 down purchase. You do have to pay a down payment up-front, as customers once did on contract plans; however, like contract plans, customers always receive a mail-in rebate back – which means that you will receive your $99 back in the mail for phone accessories, apps, and whatever mobile items you choose to purchase. Perhaps you will use the $99 credit to cover your monthly phone bill. Aside from the down payment, you will have to pay $20 or so a month towards the full price of the phone, what many would call a “monthly rental” as opposed to paying the full, unlocked price at first.
Now, with a deal such as this, many presume that only old, outdated smartphone models comprise the deal; fortunately, this is not true. Here are the following latest smartphones (and a tablet here) that you will notice on the Zero Down Plan:
- Samsung Galaxy S3
- Samsung Galaxy S Relay 4G
- HTC One S
- Google-LG Nexus 4
- HTC Windows Phone 8X
- Blackberry Bold 9900
- Samsung Galaxy Note II
- Galaxy Tab II 10.1
The Galaxy S3, LG Nexus 4, and the Galaxy Note II are three of the fastest-selling smartphones on the market this year. As a US Cellular customer, I paid $350 up-front for my Galaxy S3 (never received my mail-in rebate) and pay nearly $140 a month for unlimited voice, texting, and a 5GB data plan that includes Wi-Fi mobile hotspot service. To pay a portion of the price for these smartphones (initial payments range from $99.99 to $299.99) and then receive a mail-in rebate (with only $20 a month for payback) is a deal that is hard to beat. Just make sure you talk with T-Mobile about the mail-in rebate to ensure that you receive it as promised.
The $0 down plans are similar to monthly contracts in that you still pay a monthly bill for the smartphone (as T-Mobile customers once did with their monthly phone service). This means that you will most likely have to pay a minimum of $15 or $20 a month for your phone, in addition to your phone bill, until the full price of the phone is covered. If you happen to get paid at the end of the month and can afford to pay, say $50 this month toward your phone bill, I’m sure T-Mobile will not have a problem with that!
T-Mobile’s $0 Down Plan will end on December 31, shortly before 2013 comes upon us. From today, you have ten days to decide and buy. As for my personal advice, I recommend you purchase either the Galaxy S III (16GB) or the LG Nexus 4 (16GB) and keep your end-of-the-year costs down.