T-Mobile USA is temporarily allowing consumers to pay for its mobile products in monthly installments rather than in one big payment.
Billed as the "4G Super Sale," T-Mobile is offering this option as a promotion this weekend. All of its smartphones, including flagship products such as the Samsung Galaxy S II and the HTC Amaze 4G, as well as its Sonic 4G Mobile hot spot and the T-Mobile G-Slate tablet, will be part of this deal.
There are some strings attached. The deal does require an upfront payment, but customers can get their money back through a mail-in rebate card. Afterward, customers have to make 20 payments to cover the cost of the phone.
Depending on the phone, customers will also be saddled with mandatory smartphone data plans. Most smartphones require a 2-gigabyte high-speed data plan that costs $69.99 a month; the Galaxy S II and the Amaze 4G require a 5GB plan that costs $79.99 a month.
Still, it's among the most aggressive offers T-Mobile has put out in a year filled with price cuts, discounted phones, and reduced-price phone plans. The carrier, which does not carry Apple's iPhone and has been struggling with competitors and regulators over a proposed acquisition by AT&T, continues to lose its most valuable subscribers. It has taken action to go after more budget-friendly consumers and people looking to upgrade to smartphones for the first time.