updated 10:00 pm EDT, Fri April 12, 2013
Heralds the long-awaited arrival of the iPhone 5
Updated with comments from T-Mobile on first-day sales Accompanying its debut at T-Mobile stores around the US, the carrier has debuted the first TV ad for the iPhone 5 on both cable and broadcast outlets. The straightforward ad highlights both the iPhone's arrival on the US network, as well as featuring T-Mobile's new "uncarrier" approach that eschews contracts in exchange for lower up-front fees for phones and monthly instalment payments, which allow for less-expensive talk, text and data options. The debut of the iPhone in T-Mobile stores brought some line-ups to T-Mobile flagship stores for the first time.
Currently, the carrier is limiting orders to one iPhone per person, reports TMO, but is not expected to run out quickly -- its said that the company has 240,000 units for the launch promotion. Under T-Mobile's plans, an iPhone 5 can be purchased for as little as $99 up front, with $20 monthly payments added to the normal voice/data plan until the cost of the iPhone is paid off. The iPhone can even be obtained for no up-front cost if trading in another smartphone or switching from another carrier.
The carrier had been bleeding subscribers for some time due to its inability to strike a deal with Apple, a situation the arrival of the iPhone may reverse as it has for other carriers. T-Mobile has around 26 million subscribers, most of whom are currently on Android or Windows Phone devices. How many will "switch" to the iPhone, or how many new iPhone customers T-Mobile can attract with its pricing, coverage and availability will be interesting to see as the year unfolds. The company has previously said that around two million of its subscribers were customers who brought their own unlocked iPhone to the network in the years prior to its official deal with Apple.
Update: Chief Marketing Officer for T-Mobile, Mike Sievert, told AllThingsD that the company had seen lines "out the door" at "nearly all" of the company's 3,000 stores, and characterized the first full day of iPhone sales as "gangbusters." He added that in addition to the new TV ad, a digital and print ad campaign would follow along, all positioning the iPhone as T-Mobile's new flagship model.