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The Untold Story
We caught up with Weston Henderek, a principal analyst at Current Analysis, to get his take on the trade-in program. He told us there is an aspect of the deal that T-Mobile didn't mention in its marketing materials.
"If you bring an iPhone to T-Mobile right now -- an iPhone that worked with AT&T, for example -- it's going to be missing the AWS frequency and you are not going to be able to take advantage of the full network coverage," Henderek said. "So it's better for someone who wants to run on T-Mobile to actually get the new T-Mobile version of the iPhone."
As for the actual trade-in deal, Henderek said consumers may be able to get more money selling their phone on Craiglist -- but T-Mobile is making it easier than jumping through those hoops. Consumers can walk into a store, do the trade, and walk out with a new iPhone 5 immediately.
"From an ease of use point of view, it's a customer-friendly trade in program," Henderek said. "Consumers are still going to have to pay that off over two years. So it's not anything like a straight swap, but, it's still nice to have that zero down. U.S. customers are obviously very conditioned to paying low up front prices for their smartphones and they love the free device type deals. This trade-in program flows into that."