updated 09:48 pm EDT, Wed July 16, 2014
Buyers can pick up accessories to augment phones with no money down
As previously reported, he US' fourth-largest carrier, T-Mobile, is extending its no-money-down 24-month Equipment Installment Program (EIP) to cover accessories the company also sells, such as speakers, chargers, headphones, and other items that range in price from $69 to $250. The idea behind the move is to get consumers who are buying a new smartphone or tablet to also purchase the accessories at the same time, since they can be added to the monthly payment that covers the hardware cost (separate from the cost of the service plan).
The new accessories option, which will begin on July 20, "means you and your family could walk out the door not only with new smartphones and tablets but also with your choice of the latest audio and mobile accessories-all for $0 down and 24 monthly payments with a Simple Choice plan," the company wrote in a blog post. Although the plan claims there are no interest charges on the installment purchasing option, some finance and administrative charges plus the financed full retail cost of the accessories may make them more expensive than if purchased outright and/or on sale.
Nevertheless, the plan may be a good option for people who want to consolidate the expense of both the hardware, phone plan and accessories into one monthly bill across the two-year life of the contract, or who prefer to pay for things over time or as part of a monthly budget rather than up-front. The emphasis by T-Mobile on audio accessories could also play into the carrier's recent promotion of unlimited music streaming from selected Internet music services (including iTunes Radio and Spotify) not counting against a given plan's data cap.