T-Mobile is crowing about its version of the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus and offering a lifetime network-satisfaction guarantee to go with them.
The carrier is also offering launch deals on the phones, offering the 6s for $20/month for 18 months with the Jump! On Demand lease/trade-up program and the Phone 6s Plus at $24/month.
The guarantee and pricing could help the carrier compete with a new Apple installment-payment plan program that the phone maker announced yesterday. Under that program, Apple stores will sell unlocked versions of the new iPhones, with consumers selecting one of the four national networks in which they will activate the phone.
The T-Mobile-activated iPhones will be the first iPhones to access T-Mobile’s new 700MHz Extended Range LTE network, which uses Band 12 700MHz spectrum in 170 markets and covers more than half of all Americans. It will be expanded to more than 350 markets in the next three months.
The 700MHz spectrum doubles how far T-Mobile’s signals travel from cellular towers and “works four times better in buildings,” said CEO John Legere. It complements LTE coverage in the carrier’s 1.9GHz band and 1.7/2.1GHz AWS band.
The company’s LTE network reaches more than 290 million people out of a total population of 320 million.
Other select T-Mobile phones also offer 700MHz LTE access.
Coverage guarantee: Separately, Legere launched what he called the “industry’s first-ever lifetime coverage guarantee” in which consumers not satisfied with the company’s coverage can get their iPhone 6s or 6s Pus unlocked for use on any other national carrier.
“For as long as you use your iPhone 6s or 6s Plus on T-Mobile,” he said, “if you aren’t completely satisfied with your coverage experience, we’ll refund you for every penny you’ve paid for your new device in the first month, or after that, we’ll unlock it at no charge so you can use it with one of the other wireless companies. We’ll even refund up to a full month of your service.”
Consumers who want the guarantee must get the phones through the Jump! On Demand lease-payment plan, under which consumers make lease payments for 18 months with no money down. After 18 months, they turn in the phone and make no more payments, lease a new phone and start a new plan, or make a final payment and own the phone. With the final payment, the consumer’s total payments will equal the retail price of the phone, T-Mobile has said.
If the iPhone gets unlocked, however, the consumer must continue to make monthly phone payments, though the payment price won’t change.
With Jump! On Demand, consumers also get the right to turn in their phone for a new one up to three times per year.
Special price: Staring this Saturday at midnight Pacific Time, people can pre-order the new iPhones 6s for $20/month for 18 months with Jump! On Demand. The iPhone 6s Plus will be $24/month, both with no up-front payment.
After 18 monthly lease payments, users can turn in the phone or pay $164 more to keep the phone. For the iPhone 6s, the total cost to own the phone would $524, or what Legere called “a screaming deal.” The introductory pricing “won’t last long,” he said.