T-Mobile launched its newest flagship device, the HTC-built G1, back in October to a warm reception by customers and critics. All those who adopted the device early might be more than a little angered to hear that UK consumers will be given G1s free of charge, excluding the monthly service plans, due to the onslaught of new competitive devices to the market.
Those lucky ones who couldn’t decide whether the G1’s ugliness was worth the money or not should have a much easier decision to make now, as the touch screen handset is effectively free, according to Pocket Lint. T-Mobile explains the choice to give away the handset as result of “recent device launches.”
That could mean that T-Mobile is either concerned with the low pricing of similar (or better) devices on competing carriers, or that T-Mobile’s own stable of phones is improving so much so that it needs to make the G1 more appealing. It certainly wouldn’t be good for appearances if something like the Samsung Behold outsold T-Mobile’s flagship G1, now would it?
And it’s hard to beat the very reasonable price of free. The only remaining roadblock I foresee is that some customers will still refuse to buy into a monthly service plan, as some don’t feel the need to have the Internet constantly available. Aside from that, even my dislike for the ugly looks of the G1 couldn’t keep from accepting a free handset.
It must also be considered that T-Mobile is trying to give the impression of huge sales of the G1 around the holiday by giving them away. If charging customers for a monthly service plan and data package for a specific phone constitutes a “sale,” then T-Mobile will be padding its sales figures nicely, and boosting the image of the G1.
And for all the early adopters who spent full ticket price on the device, you can only be mad at yourselves. Apple and AT&T dropped the price of the first generation iPhone not long after its debut, and you had to think T-Mobile would need to make the device slightly more competitive based on the mediocre original price point. Shoot, if you wait a bit longer T-Mobile might start sending customer service reps to work as maids for you in addition to giving you a free G1 with free data. That’s what I’m holding out for.