Recently T-Mobile announced plans to shift their strategy in 2013 and beyond. Gone will be the days of subsidized phones with a contract model as they will only be offering value and prepaid plans where the consumer purchases the device outright at full price. That means if you're a T-Mo customer (or looking to become one), and would like to kick it with an old school plan for two more years now's the time to get in on it.
Up until the end of the year you can get some of the best phones the carrier has to offer for $0 down after a rebate in exchange for signing a two year contract. The devices listed for "free" include Samsung Galaxy S3, the Samsung Galaxy S Relay 4G, HTC One S, and of course the "impossible to get your hands on" Nexus 4. The sale also includes Galaxy Note 2 and the Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 but either of those will set you back $99.99 up front. Free and cheap however comes with the added caveat that for the next 20 months you are enrolled in the Equipment Installment Plan setting you back an extra $20 per.
These are great deals for people who don't like to do math. I understand that it's tough to get the up front money for the full price a phone these days and also seeing the word "free" in bright neon lights is wicked enticing, but T-Mobile is changing their plan rates and terms for a reason. They can't compete with the big boys using this model. On top of that it's on their upcoming plans where you will see the real savings. Quick math shows that by buying the handset at full price and getting on the prepaid/value bandwagon you'll save yourself between $1,000 and $1,500 over those very same two years.
Purchasing habits are a tough thing to change so even though they are dramatically changing their business model, T-Mobile is taking one last shot at on-contract customers in these last few days of 2012. Is anyone planning on picking up one of these devices while they are on "sale" or "free"? Is that elusive Nexus 4 sitting right in front of you for the asking price of $0 just too much to pass up on? Let us know your thoughts.