T-Mobile has announced a new initiative dubbed “Smartphone Equality” that aims to bring an equal opportunity to get smartphones at the lowest possible price, no matter your credit rating. In essence, the program means that as long as you pay your bill on time for twelve months, T-Mobile will give you the best possible cost on any phone of your choice.
Smartphone Equality officially starts on January 25th, but if you have been keeping up with your T-Mobile bills in the past, they will count towards your twelve months of paying on time track record going forward. So, if you have been a loyal and paying customer for over a year and haven’t missed a bill yet, you may already qualify for the lowest possible price on a new phone, even if you have bad credit elsewhere.
As T-Mobile noted in their own news release, “63 percent of Americans have a less than the perfect credit score,” so they could be hitting a rather large group of potential users that feel they are getting gypped elsewhere due to their poor credit rating. A large demographic of users without smartphones is another area that T-Mobile hopes to hit with this new plan.
Ultimately, this initiative will lower the barrier for millions more Americans to get a smartphone – the most transformational technology in our lifetime. At a time when mobile connectivity is sweeping the globe, the United States ranks a miserable 13th in the world in terms of smartphone penetration − behind a dozen countries including Australia, Ireland, Israel and Saudi Arabia among others. There are more than 100 million American adults who don’t have a smartphone according to data from Pew Research and the US Census Bureau. That’s 100 million too many.
John Legere announced the move for his company with a written post, as well as his “first ever” vlog, complete with a Starbucks logo placed perfectly in frame and several unnecessary quick-cuts. Smartphone Equality is part of T-Mobile encompassing “Uncarrier” movement, which is an attempt to change how phone carriers deliver service to their customers, including making it more fair. How well the program actually works, and how honest the whole thing is, depends on who you ask.