Apple providing T-Mobile with free iPhones for new ‘Test Drive’ program

t-mobile-logoAt its Uncarrier 5.0 event in Seattle, T-Mobile boss John Legere and Co. took the wraps off a bunch of new initiatives to maintain the carrier’s impressive growth in the American market.

One such initiative is ‘Test Drive‘, a scheme that will allow customers to try an iPhone 5s with unlimited domestic usage for a full 7 days. Once the trial is up, customers can return the iPhone to a T-Mobile store and pay absolutely nothing for their trial.

Of course, in order to avoid customers pocketing the iPhone and doing a runner, there must be a catch, right? Well, yes, there is some fine print that is certainly worth reading. When you sign up for Test Drive, T-Mobile will place a $699.99 hold on your credit card to keep you from keeping it free of charge. If you return the iPhone 5s with a cracked screen or water damage, you’ll need to pay $100. And if you decide not to return the iPhone at all, you’ll be charged the near-$700 for the unit. Hand it back in its original condition though, and it’ll cost you nothing.

What’s really interesting about this deal is that T-Mo has managed to successfully partner with Apple who will be providing the iPhone units free of charge, according to Legere.

Legere said he expects the company to do a million Test Drives within the first year of the program. That’s a relatively small number of iPhones for Apple, but considering the iPhone 5s is late in its life cycle it could be a boon for the Cupertino company. However, it does certainly contrast with Apple’s own, more stringent, return policies at its Apple Stores where buyers need to actually purchase the device if they’re not simply trying it out in store, including signing up to a carrier agreement as well. Apple has not yet commented on the deal.

The Verge picked up a sample Test Drive unit after the T-Mobile event, pictured below. Interestingly, the packaging is far from Apple’s own carefully designed and executed white boxes. It reportedly includes all the essentials for an iPhone, but “in packaging that seems closer to what you get when you receive a refurbished phone”.

verge iphone test drive

For more on all that T-Mobile unveiled at its event, including Uncarrier 5.0 and 6.0 initiatives, check out our sister site TmoNews which has all the details.

Source: T-Mobile, The Verge

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  • RedGeminiPA

    Too bad their service is STILL nonexistent around here. It’s EDGE or nothing, baby. That’s why I ended up going with Sprint, who launched LTE in my area within the second batch of release cities.

    • monkeybutts

      Well you can always give them another check. One free trial per year.

    • donnybee

      Not only can you give them another try yearly, without the fear of signing up, but you also have heard of the EDGE to LTE transition, no doubt.

      Lots of great things in store for future members of T-Mo! If it’s not reaching you yet, give it a little more time. You’ll be happy you did!

  • De’Marcus Kourage Winbush

    Tmobile is will do anything to gain customers. They not have much success selling the iPhone by doing this. The CEO is too cocky and will be gone soon. I used to be with Tmobile for 10 years and their network is the same and that’s why I went to Verizon. They invest all this money in marketing but not the network.

    • Bratty

      What a half wit! And your parents couldnt spell “courage”? No wonder your post is … well …. never mind, you wont get it anyway.

      • De’Marcus Kourage Winbush

        Im sorry. Have no clue what you are saying. My post is my opinion from my experience. Second, that not my middle name and my parents are smart enough to make sure was spelled right and it’s my Facebook name. I can’t make my name to whatever I want to and stop trying to make a funny. So stop jumping on my comment trying to insult me when you the one that don’t know the topic is about. What are you like 9 years old or something?!! Oh I’m probably wrong but you get my point right?

        • Bratty

          Of course you have no idea. Ergo, half wit. Nice job “kourage”

          • De’Marcus Kourage Winbush

            Well, any way. I don’t have to explain why I spell it with a “K” because you wouldn’t understand. But I really here to talk about the topic of the post.

  • De’Marcus Kourage Winbush

    I think this could backfire because it will be alot of issues with the device damaged it’s stolen.