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Thread: Why poor/limited selection on T-MOB site?

  1. #1
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    Why poor/limited selection on T-MOB site?

    This comment /question can really apply to any carrier but I chose to single out T-Mobile because I am a customer.
    On the Company prepaid phone site you see only a few phones. Either no camera or VGA camera, none with keyboards,etc. I know you can find other models in stores but still not too big of a selection. I had thought before I could only use an "official T-Mobile prepaid phone". snce reading this forum I discovered I could drop a T-Mobile sim into an unlocked GSM phone. With this knowledge I've explored and found dozens of different handsets from different manufactors with features greatly superior to the "official prepaid phones". Many are old,issued a few years ago but still better.
    Why doesn't T-mobile offer a better selection?

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    Prepaid is not a priority with TMO. They offer only basic phones for prepaid because they offer only basic services.

    As you said, you can use any GSM phone with prepaid as long as it has the correct bands and is either a TMO phone or an unlocked phone.

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    Maybe this was true years ago but I just read recently that for last quarter 2009 new prepaid customers were higher then new contract/traditional wireless customers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by timdennis
    Maybe this was true years ago but I just read recently that for last quarter 2009 new prepaid customers were higher then new contract/traditional wireless customers.
    That's including FlexPay though....

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    Quote Originally Posted by timdennis
    On the Company prepaid phone site you see only a few phones. Either no camera or VGA camera, none with keyboards,etc.
    Samsung T349
    You missed this one, they had it on the prepaid site up until a few weeks ago for $49.99. I got two of them and on one I got the free $25 airtime card and 35% Cashback from Bing on both of them. My total for both not including sales tax was $64.98.
    This one has a partial qwerty keyboard and a 1.3 MP camera and I must say the camera is very very good. I take it out with me every day even when I know I am not going to be using the phone to talk but to take pictures every day when I am on my 3 mile walk.

    This same phone is $99.99 at Target and $98.99 at Wal~Mart. I don't know of T~Mobile will bring this one back on their prepaid lineup or not but I am glad I managed to grab up two of them.

    It is an excellent phone, it is my best phone. The signal strength and voice quality is just great.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe12304
    That's including FlexPay though....
    I've read this too, but it's not just T-Mobile. With the economy in poor shape, consumers are finding that prepaid can be much cheaper than postpaid, especially if they cut back on usage. With more consumers having poor credit, prepaid may be the only option.

    As far as the poor selection, I'm thinking a prepaid user with their average usage needs and income lower than postpaid customers, is what drives T-Mobile. If a customer gets a prepaid phone with the intention of limiting usage to only $10 - $20 a month, it wouldn't make sense that such a customer would also want an inexpensive smartphone. If they did, they could always buy one.

    With cellphone companies unable to discount a prepaid phone as what can be done with a postpaid phone on a contract, there's no incentive to market to the few customers on prepaid who want a super-fancy phone. If T-Mobile did sell fancy phones for less than their costs to prepaid customers, vendors would scoop them up, unlock them, and resell them. So what we have left are cheap prepaid phones sold for as low as $10. Some might be sold that won't be activated or used briefly and then thrown out or given to their kids to play with. But since they're also cheap to produce it's worth it to T-Mobile to market these phones as some will eventually be bought by customers who will spend a lot on prepaid.

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    The t349 has a lot a features and a pretty nice partial keyboard but it's only average for reception. The speaker for music is nice, it actually has a better sound than the one in my iPhone but the speakerphone for calls is kind of low in volume and you also cannot run the music player in the background.

    I got it for $49.99 at T-Mobile since they stopped selling it online. Radioshack also had the Gravity for $79.99 - So they do have some nice phones, just not all of them are available everywhere.

    Best Buy and Wal-Mart also have the Complete T-Mobile phones, which include the Gravity and the BB 8520 with a prepaid EM+ plan, so they do have some nice options for prepaid...
    Bye!

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    Yeah that looks like a nice one. I did see it listed but as out of stock,now its not there at all. Getting it with the $25 card is a real deal. However I was looking for a flip/clamshell or slider style this time.

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    http://www.radioshack.com/product/in...ductId=3836070

    They didn't have any where I went but only one t239 and one 2720 so they could've just been low. Like I said these phones seem to have average reception so I wouldn't get them at all if you're in a fringe area.

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    Quote Originally Posted by iFone3G
    The t349 has a lot a features and a pretty nice partial keyboard but it's only average for reception. The speaker for music is nice, it actually has a better sound than the one in my iPhone but the speakerphone for calls is kind of low in volume and you also cannot run the music player in the background.
    I am lucky that I live in an area where T~Mobile is really strong. Funny, on speaker on both of mine the sound is loud, I was talking with my Mom last week on mine and had speaker phone going, I was walking across a noisy parking lot and I had to turn the sound down about halfway because it was too loud. At home when I talk on them the sound is nice and loud and clear and I keep the volume set at about halfway. I only use speaker phone when I talk anyway so that is important to me to have good sound quality. Maybe the low sound on yours has something to do with the signal not being as strong. I'm not sure how that works. I have found that all the Samsungs I have are loud and clear and get a great signal. I actually don't have any that get a poor signal since I am in a very strong signal area. The only two phones of my T~Mobile phones where the sound quality is terrible are the Motorola V195s and the Nokia 1208.

    Others have mentioned the Nokia 2720 having low sound too but the two that I have are nice and loud and clear too.
    The Camera, even though it is 1.3MP is only average. A bit better than VGA but not as good as the T349.

    One phone I have that has terrible sound but everyone else who has that same model says the sound is terrific is the Motorola V195s. I can't hear anything on that even with speaker phone in a quiet room. I pretty much don't expect anything from the Nokia 1208 so it's in a drawer with some other retired phones. At least I got the free $25 airtime card with that one so I don't feel too bad about that purchase. I just wish that phone had been a bit better. I could have used that one as a beater phone to keep in my coat pocket in case I needed it for an emergency and not worried too much if it got a bit gunked up in my pocket but it was not a good one to try and talk on so it's in a drawer. The flashlight on that one isn't even very good. It gets a good signal but such poor sound quality.

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    It's not as bad as the iPhone but it's certainly not louder than my TP2 or CLIQ, Samsung A950, A900 or VX8100, TnT, and maybe one other I'm forgetting.

    The E-Mail client is also pretty nice, I wonder if it counts against texts at MVNO's too.

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    As a pre-paid customer (2nd phone line) I brought my own phone with me. If you want a premium device, that's what you have to do. As several others have stated, the average customer is on pre-paid for the discount price. Clearly you're not going to sell this customer a premium phone.

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    Quote Originally Posted by burgerwars View Post
    I'm thinking a prepaid user with their average usage needs and income lower than postpaid customers, is what drives T-Mobile.
    I'm sure you're right about the way T-mobile thinks, but they're losing out here. I'm a higher-income person who just doesn't use the phone much. I have an Android phone that I use with prepaid, using data only via wifi. I'd be happy to pay T-Mobile more for prepaid data, but they apparently don't want the business. You'd think they would understand the potential market given the popularity of prepaid--including data--in Europe (their home base), but I guess not.

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    Quote Originally Posted by eelton1 View Post
    I'm sure you're right about the way T-mobile thinks, but they're losing out here. I'm a higher-income person who just doesn't use the phone much. I have an Android phone that I use with prepaid, using data only via wifi. I'd be happy to pay T-Mobile more for prepaid data, but they apparently don't want the business. You'd think they would understand the potential market given the popularity of prepaid--including data--in Europe (their home base), but I guess not.
    Sprint seems to be the only one that has wised up and taken the prepaid market seriously. Virgin has a new Android phone, plus BlackBerries on Virgin and Boost.

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