T-Mobile launches layaway finance plan for smartphones

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Earlier this week, T-Mobile launched a new finance option for those that cannot afford to pay for a smartphone all at one time.  That’s right; T-Mobile is taking a page from a large retailer book and offering their smartphones that can be paid via layaway.  Phones can be expensive, even with a two-year contract, so T-Mobile is giving you a chance to pay for your phone over a certain period of time.  The plan calls for a smaller payment to be made up front with monthly installment payments to follow.  T-Mobile says they expect the payments to be around $5 to $15 per month based on the phone you purchased.  The new plan is called “EIP” or the equipment installment plan.

After announcing their new financing, T-Mobile also announced a price drop for one of their plans.  The company’s mid-range plans are expected to drop $20 per month.  The plan that is taking a drop in price includes unlimited monthly minutes, text messages and data usage, but caps for high speed data access are in place and can be bumped up for an additional price.  If you are going to pass up your monthly data usage allotment, your speed is throttled down until the next billing cycle comes along.  T-Mobile will not charge any overage fees unlike companies like AT&T.

The new pricing plans for T-Mobile customers are about $100 less than the competition that has similar plans available.  The T-Mobile plan is very similar to one from Sprint, AT&T and Verizon, but when the new pricing hits, T-Mobile’s will be about $10 less per month for the same options.  A chart posted at Wired.com shows the monthly savings at about $70 per month over AT&T and the savings go up from there depending on the carrier you currently have.  If you are switching from Verizon for example, you could save almost $1000 per year going with T-Mobile.  The numbers are figured using a sample plan based on average phone usage.

The new prices are set to start on Sunday in the United States and the lower prices are accompanied by a new two-year contract, of course.  All of this information regarding pricing plans and new phone finance plans are all subject to change.  The well reported possible merger of AT&T and T-Mobile could really shake things up for any pricing plans, phone availability, etc.

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