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T-Mobile US launches branded smartphone

T-Mobile US is trying once again to disrupt the U.S. wireless industry by attempting to offer consumers exactly what they want. This time, the self-described “un-carrier” says it has created an offer that is tailor-made for T-Mobile customers. T-Mobile says its customers use three times more social media data and 42% more data overall than other carriers’ customers, while upgrading their phones 16% faster than the average wireless customer. In response, the company is offering a T-Mobile branded smartphone called the REVVL with a 5.5-inch high definition screen optimized for video viewing, front and rear-facing cameras, a fingerprint sensor, and a pricing plan that makes it inexpensive to upgrade.

The REVVL is priced at $125, and T-Mobile customers can lease the phone for just $5.00 per month. It is eligible for the company’s Jump on Demand program, which lets customers upgrade to a new phone as often as once a month. While the company is describing it as the perfect package for T-Mobile customers, it clearly hopes to attract customers from other carrier networks as well.

Other carriers will almost certainly be keeping a close eye on the REVVL and Jump on Demand. T-Mobile US led the industry away from contracts and tiered data pricing as competitors tried to match its pricing plans to reduce churn. Now those competitors are likely to take a close look at the idea of offering more frequent upgrades.

SmartPicks
Along with the REVVL phone, T-Mobile is launching a new program called SmartPicks. LIke the REVVL, all the Android phones that are part of T-Mobile’s SmartPicks program will be available for no money down with an 18-month lease, and will be eligible for the company’s Jump on Demand program.

Users who keep their phones for the full 18 months will still need to pay off a balance in order to own the device. Or, they can return it to T-Mobile and upgrade. T-Mobile said the following phones will be available through SmartPicks, and will be eligible for Jump on Demand for a limited time:
T-Mobile REVVL ($0 down and $5 a month)
Samsung Galaxy J3 Prime ($0 down and $7 a month)
LG K20 Plus ($0 down and $8 a month)
LG Aristo ($0 down and $7 a month)
ZTE ZMAX Pro ($0 down and $8 a month)

Keeping up with the Joneses
T-Mobile continues to position itself as the upstart, underdog competitor ready to fight for the consumer. In a blog post, T-Mobile COO Mike Sievert said his company is hearing from its customers that they want “a boatload of features without spending a boatload.” He said this fall’s crop of high-end smartphones could feature models with price tags as high as $1000.

“Many of our customers are looking for ways to keep up with the Joneses – in terms of features – without needing to keep up with the Kardashians – in terms of how much they spend,” Sievert wrote.

ABOUT AUTHOR

Martha DeGrasse
Martha DeGrassehttp://www.nbreports.com
Martha DeGrasse is the publisher of Network Builder Reports (nbreports.com). At RCR, Martha authored more than 20 in-depth feature reports and more than 2,400 news articles. She also created the Mobile Minute and the 5 Things to Know Today series. Prior to joining RCR Wireless News, Martha produced business and technology news for CNN and Dow Jones in New York and managed the online editorial group at Hoover’s Online before taking a number of years off to be at home when her children were young. Martha is the board president of Austin's Trinity Center and is a member of the Women's Wireless Leadership Forum.

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