T-Mobile and the iPhone Test Drive Program

T-Mobile's new iPhone 5S test-drive initiative (Source: T-Mobile.com)

T-Mobile's new iPhone 5S test-drive initiative (Source: T-Mobile.com)

T-Mobile is the happening cellular network in the US. It is the bold underdog taking on self-dupolized giants, Verizon & AT&T. T-Mobile under its unorthodox leadership of John Legere has stirred up the carrier network area quite well with its uncannier plan, where it allows customers to deal with the handset and the cellular payments separately and hence avoiding the confusion of contracts and the early upgrade non-sense that AT&T and Verizon famously pioneered. The latest in T-Mobile's bold initiatives, was iPhone test drive program that it had partnered with Apple, where potential new customers or existing customers without an iPhone were allowed to borrow an iPhone for seven days to try it out on T-Mobile's network. Later they can choose to either return it and walk out without shelling out a penny (unless the iPhone is returned damaged) or hop in on the bandwagon, that is T-Mobile. This seemed to have potential benefits for both T-Mobile and Apple and rightly so is proving successful, at least for T-Mobile, according to this post on Re/Code

Although executives insist they don’t have much insight into what Cupertino has in store, they believe it will be a tremendous opportunity to snatch customers from bigger rivals. That’s because T-Mobile has the fewest iPhone customers of any of the big carriers and customers often consider switching when they get their next phone, executives said.
— Re/Code

Since the iPhone debuted on AT&T and years later was available on Verizon and only very recently was available on T-Mobile, most of the iPhone users are still with AT&T and Verizon. I had iPhones on AT&T for almost four years until I switched to T-Mobile earlier this year. Though I complained a lot about AT&T and did not want to switch to Verizon as you cannot talk and use data at the same time on its network, I never considered moving to T-Mobile, until very recently. Like the article quotes above, I think this is the best time for T-Mobile to snatch customers from other big networks as iPhone 6 might be launched as early as next month. My switch to T-Mobile has been very satisfactory and except the coverage issues that plague any small network, everything else about T-Mobile is better than AT&T, speed is comparable (though seems faster, due to less congestion?), very affordable, no gimmicks and straight forward. From its recent quarterly results and more offers for take over, I think T-Mobile is on the right track. One just hopes that T-Mobile does not let success go to its head to soon... 

T-Mobile US, Inc. TMUS +0.27% today reported second quarter 2014 earnings which demonstrated continued customer momentum and strong financial results. The Company surpassed the 50 million customer milestone in the quarter and again led the industry in branded postpaid phone net customer additions. T-Mobile continued to expand and extend the Un-carrier strategy in the quarter, launching both Un-carrier 5.0: Test Drive and Un-carrier 6.0: Music Freedom to address additional consumer pain points and deliver new value to customers.
— MarketWatch on T-Mobile's recent quarterly results