Users still may not understand the risks of using an iPhone on T-Mobile

Users still may not understand the risks of using an iPhone on T-Mobile
A leaked internal document from T-Mobile seems to show that users still don't understand 3G bands in the United States and the compromises that one has to make in order to use an iPhone on T-Mobile. This is certainly one of the strangest leaks we've seen, especially after Apple announced its absolutely ridiculous quarterly earnings and iPhone sales earlier today.

The leaked document looks like a training sheet for T-Mobile reps in order to make sure that anyone attempting to use the iPhone on the network understood that the iPhone is not compatible with T-Mobile's 3G bands. And, of course, T-Mobile is obligated by being a business to spin that as the iPhone offering a "poor" customer experience on the carrier, and using it to push customers towards Android phones which will offer far better speeds.

Calling the user experience "poor" on the iPhone, even with slower EDGE speeds, seems like a stretch, but then again T-Mobile has no reason to be fair, it's just trying to sell its own phones and the iPhone isn't one of them.

source: TMoNews via BGR

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24 Comments

1. andro.

Posts: 1999; Member since: Sep 16, 2011

the risks to any individual using an iphone anywhere in the world should never be underestimated........

24. iKingTrust

Posts: 716; Member since: Jul 27, 2011

who is this new hater?

2. solidsnakeduds013

Posts: 221; Member since: Oct 20, 2010

Well what can I say here

3. Tux4g63

Posts: 121; Member since: Oct 21, 2011

I think this is a fair assessment. A lot of consumers think that because the basic GSM technology underpins both T-Mobile and ATT, that an iphone would naturally work natively without any issues on T-Mobile. Edge speeds are basically "fast" 2G and a lot of consumers at the minimum want real 3G speeds. The gap in knowledge to the average user is a pretty big technical knowledge point because it speaks to the overall user experience that you would have. Then again, bringing over an unlocked iphone that was never designed to work on T-Mobile bands is a stretch by any consumer in the first place. They want to do it, that is there prerogative, just don't complain when the experience isn't all it could be if you were using something else designed to work from the get-go.

4. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

Michael, Tmobile gains nothing by convincing a customer to go to an android phone over an iphone. If they bring their own equipment, it is pure service with no subsidy on equipment. There is no deficit to be made up like normal service. With the value plans being about the same as the prepaid plans now, there is no real financial gain to Tmobile by taking a deficit on the phone and risking a broken contract. As long as that iphone user is on tmobile, its "free money" so to speak. Tmobile does have a focus on pushing their high end 4g phones though, so yea, comparatively the EDGE only iphone performance is going to be quite poor. I'd think they make that distinction to keep people from thinking that the iphone is going so slow because Tmobile is slow, and not because the phone isnt completely compatible. I literally had a customer argue with me not 2 days ago that the 4 on his iphone4 meant it was 4g and that it shouldn't go so slow on the Tmobile network. It took me like 20 minutes to get him to realize it wasnt the network. I can just imagine how many times that conversation has happened. To the uneducated consumer, they equate that slow performance to the network not to the device.

14. thisiswang

Posts: 5; Member since: Dec 19, 2011

i disagree with this statement in many aspects

15. vmaster

Posts: 31; Member since: Dec 11, 2011

Completely agree! "thisiswang" if you disagree especially in "many" aspects, then explain to validate yourself.

17. MichaelHeller

Posts: 2734; Member since: May 26, 2011

As you said in the second half of your comment, T-Mobile has quite a bit to gain by pushing Android over iPhone, because it would cut down on those silly arguments with customers over the service that they are getting with the iPhone. T-Mo also has ways to upsell users when they are pushed towards buying handsets from T-Mo instead of bringing their own, because there are extra options like phone insurance and such. That is on top of the higher cost of the service plan which more than offsets the subsidy (by adding $15 per month for 24 months = $360, which is more than most subsidies.) And, T-Mobile isn't "risking" any broken contracts because there are fees for breaking the contract.

20. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

Your thinking in generic cell carrier terms. On Tmobile Prepaid unlimited everything with 2gigs of 4G data = 60 bux Contract Value unlimited everythng w/ 2gig of 4g data = 60 bux. Contract value unlimted evrthng 2/gig of 4g data for family = 50 bux per line for the first 2 lines, 35 for each additional line. So as you can see, tmobile makes the same or LESS on contract plans per line than comparable prepay which is what most iphones go on. The only add ons are insurance (which cell companies get only a small portion of that $7.99 a month) and the rare TV and Tethering add on. If a person comes in and buys an SGS2 which is almost $600 on the value plan, they pay a $230 down payment and the rest is put on the bill. Say they never pay a bill and the account is shut off. Tmobile isnt getting the ETF back,is never getting paid a dime for the service that was used until it was shut off, nor is it getting the other $470 for the phone. Tmobile just lost a lot of money. ETFs are only paid by responsible customers. People that just let their service shut off (probably the majority of customers that churn) never pay their ETF and just let it hit their credit. If a customer comes in with an iphone or any other GSM phone, gets on a prepaid plan and gets on a prepaid plan, they have to pay that first month up front (prepaid, duh). No matter what, the carrier is making money on them with zero risk. If the customer ever shuts off the phone, the carrier doesnt lose any money other than the monthly service charges. The only real gripe I ever hear from people with an iphone on tmobile is exactly what is explained. they think the 4 means 4g and they dont understand why their phone runs so slow on Tombile, so it must be an issue with the Tmobile service... which its obviously not. Most are ecstatic with the price difference between ATT and Tmobile. We have quite a bit of iphone/ATT converts.

23. downphoenix

Posts: 3165; Member since: Jun 19, 2010

agreed. Tmobile would push their "4g" androids because of higher customer satisfaction over a 2g iphone.

5. LandLockedPH

Posts: 15; Member since: Jul 01, 2011

I'd agree. Nice phone doesn't make up for "last year's" network speeds. Why not go for a current model instead?

6. topcat

Posts: 4; Member since: Dec 21, 2011

People that I know just wanted to use an iPhone but were, for whatever reason, "stuck" on T-Mobile. It didn't matter if it was slower. Lots of people like the "cool" factor (whatever that is) of an iPhone, regardless of anything else. Then again, I work with more tech oriented people.

7. InspectorGadget80 unregistered

Also it will take away you re unlimited data if the iPhone launch on T Mobile. But when you buy a unlocked device like i did the phone was made for T MOBILE but i have at&t. put my SIM card in and read edge not 3g couldnt send data because the software was not compatible. You will have too pay extra 29.00$ for software send too tour phone so the data can work promtly on your unlocked device.

8. The_Miz

Posts: 1496; Member since: Apr 06, 2011

Well customers want the best phone when they go to tmobile and well let's face it, the iPhone is better.

9. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

at least your avatar has his shirt on this time, mizzy. :)

12. biophone

Posts: 1994; Member since: Jun 15, 2011

IDK its was funnier without the shirt. It really portrayed the miz better.

21. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

next up, 2 wrestlers oiling themselves as his avatar

10. -box-

Posts: 3991; Member since: Jan 04, 2012

Aren't T-Mobile's EDGE speeds better than Verizon and Sprint's 3G speeds anyway? And thus, wouldn't that make Verizon & Sprint's iphone experience even poorer?

11. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

no. Edge runs around 300-500k. VZW/Sprint "3g" runs around 800k-1.5mb But tmo is comparing it to them, where 3G runs up to 7.2m/bs and 4G runs up to 42mb/s

13. biophone

Posts: 1994; Member since: Jun 15, 2011

My friend has a t-mobile iPhone its not that bad. Its slow but its not a poor experience at all.

22. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

iphone hardcores are used to wifi anyways, so its not that big of a deal to most of them. those that arent really educated on the phone or really dont know how to use the wifi's are the ones that gripe.

16. lubba

Posts: 1313; Member since: Jan 17, 2011

There's a reason why tmo is struggling and is number #4. Its stuff like this. Push Android? s**t, push whatever you can!

18. Exile_One

Posts: 24; Member since: Jan 06, 2012

The iphone...Have you ever seen a person that's not cool try to look cool???

19. Forsaken77

Posts: 553; Member since: Jun 09, 2011

People are odd... if someone knows enough technically that AT&T and Tmo use the same type of signal, therefore allowing them to think an iPhone from AT&T should work the same on Tmo as it did on AT&T, you would think they would also realize that they use different frequencies and you can't expect the same level of service.

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