Iconic Devices Just Have a Better Ring to Them at the Un-carrier

By Mike Sievert, CEO of T-MobileSeptember 22, 2023

In our industry, every new phone launch is a big moment. But this month's debut of iPhone 15 models is a little more special to us here at T-Mobile as we also mark a key Un-carrier milestone: 10 years of offering iPhones to our customers!

It's hard to imagine our device lineup without this iconic handset in the mix, yet there was a time when that was the case. When I joined T-Mobile in 2012 as chief marketing officer, we were a distant fourth in wireless with limited financial resources to improve our network. At the time, we didn't have 4G LTE - and we certainly didn't offer iPhones. Sure, customers were using unlocked devices on our network, but the network experience wasn't optimal for making the most of iPhone's full potential. We heard loud and clear that we needed to better meet our customers' needs - and we accepted the challenge.

Credit: CNET

So, we set to work to solve for that pain point, like we always do, and delivered for our customers, like we've always done. And I've got to say it was pretty amazing to stand on stage in March 2013 and announce that we would finally join the other guys and start selling iPhones (back then it was iPhone 5, and CNET's first line in their story that day was "T-Mobile will offer the iPhone on its network at long last" - ha!). We also announced the official launch our 4G LTE network AND shared, among other things, that instead of pressing iPhone customers to sign a two-year service contract, they could either pay full price at the time of purchase or spread the cost over 24 months with installment plans. It was innovative at the time, and as the first of many Un-carrier moves to come, Simple Choice reshaped the wireless industry forever.

Fast forward to today. Technology has evolved, and smartphones like iPhone are significantly different devices than they were a decade ago. The Un-carrier’s network has leapfrogged the competition and is leading the pack to the point where third party industry experts have recognized T-Mobile for having the nation’s largest, fastest and most awarded 5G network, covering more than AT&T and Verizon combined.

We also continue to create exceptional network experiences for customers when new devices enter the marketplace. Thanks to our nationwide 5G standalone (SA) network, we’re the ONLY operator with four-carrier aggregation, which enables us to deliver turbocharged speeds. And our network slicing capability allows for optimized performance to ensure highly reliable, near-real-time connectivity that’s unbelievably fast — without an annoying lag. In other words, we’re helping put an end to the days of not being able to quickly download pictures and videos at busy events that are packed with tens of thousands of people. We are truly tapping into the capability that these newly launched devices offer customers!

While it's deeply gratifying to have now built the leading 5G network that brings people to T-Mobile (and keeps them here!), I'm also proud that we have the ability to simultaneously deliver unmatched value and benefits to our customers. This is something that's unique in wireless, where the carriers make customers choose between the two. Only the Un-carrier gives them both!

Case in point: We’re giving new and existing customers the same great iPhone 15 offers, along with coveted perks like free in-flight Wi-Fi and Apple TV+ and Netflix on Us. And because we listen to our customers, we know they want the freedom to upgrade every year — so we provide that, too. The carriers, on the other hand, still continue trying to lock people into crazy-long contracts to get their best deals — three whole years is absurd! — and limit their choices. And, by the way, customers are getting all of these extras from us, backed by the very best team of Experts in the industry who put customers first every time!

So, with iPhones and plans and deals available everywhere, why choose T-Mobile? Here's my simple take: best 5G network, best value, best experience. Nothing pairs better with the most advanced iPhone 15 lineup ever than a world-class network combined with the best value and best experiences from the most committed team in wireless. We believe that customers deserve all of these things - and more! When they look across the portfolio of offers and consider what they're getting for what they're paying, the Un-carrier stands out over time as the best choice.

Beginning to offer iPhone a decade ago was such a critical turning point for T-Mobile, but it’s just one example of our insatiable appetite to do more for customers — something that customers recognize and stick around for. Thank you to those who have done just that, from our underdog origins through today. After 10 years of disrupting as the Un-carrier, no one is doing more to innovate on behalf of the customer than T-Mobile, and we won’t stop.