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”.
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.