T-Mobile USA to offer more cheap, midrange smartphones

January 10, 2011 | by Andrew Kameka



T-Mobile spent much of 2010 releasing entry and mid-level smartphones while rivals promoted high-end devices that outpaced what was offered at T-Mo. That trend may continue, despite a flurry of top-level smartphones released by the carrier late last year.

The Wall Street Journal, taking a break from fanning the Verizon iPhone flames, reports that T-Mobile plans to “aggressively” focus on the down market in its phone offerings. CEO Philip Humm says that T-Mobile will focus on delivering more affordable phones, most of which will run Android.

“We are working with our vendors on this one to drive the price of smartphones down,” Humm told the Journal. “Not every customer is going to want or need the premier high-end handset.”

People who do want that high-end handset don’t need to fret. There will definitely be high-powered phones from T-Mobile this year and next. T-Mobile didn’t spend all that money upgrading its network to abandon the phones required to use it. What this story means is that you will see more entry-level smartphones on T-Mobile.

Other indicators of the cheaper smartphone trend have already been seen in the LG Optimus line, the falling prices on high-end smartphones, and promises from component makers to introduce cheaper parts for phones. T-Mobile, the fourth-ranked carrier for quite some time, is going to focus on improving it’s stature in phones that aren’t quite as smart as what’s typically seen on other carriers.

The smartphone market, roughly 30 percent of all mobile phone sales in the U.S., is expected to grow significantly, so T-Mobile is likely trying to attract the new crop of buyers rather than the more fickle and gadget-obsessed crowds who may frequent this site.