updated 08:55 am EDT, Mon April 5, 2010
T-Mobile hopes to convert Apple handset users
A leaked memo shows that T-Mobile is hoping to lure iPhone users away with large incentives to switch to the HTC HD2. Starting from April and running through May 19th, the carrier plans to let any iPhone owner get at least $100 credit and as much as $350 if they trade in a working device. The TmoNews note doesn't say whether customers have to already be T-Mobile customers or if they can be AT&T users switching networks.
The promo won't be universal and will primarily be found at third-party dealers rather than T-Mobile's own stores, although the company itself will take direct phone orders and make business deals.
Exactly why the carrier is offering the promo wasn't said, but the HD2 has been an unusual hit for the company. It may have sold 21,000 phones in one day and has endured multiple sellouts as customers buy the phone as soon as it arrives in stock. Although it uses Windows Mobile, which has historically fared poorly versus the iPhone and Android, it has an HTC-developed interface that eliminates most of the weak points and brings in a 4.3-inch, capacitive multi-touch screen. A fast 1GHz processor and a 5-megapixel camera also make it one of the more capable smartphones on the market regardless of the network.
As the only other major GSM carrier in the US, T-Mobile has also been home to a significant population of iPhone owners who are using unlocked devices on its network. The move would get these customers on to officially supported devices and let T-Mobile move them to full smartphone plans if they weren't already on those services.