Interview: T-Mobile’s John Legere on iPhone Sales, the Carrier’s Bold Upgrade Program, and Continuing to Shake Things Up

T-Mobile’s biggest news on Wednesday is the introduction of a new program that will let customers upgrade their phones as often as twice a year.
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Known as Jump (which loosely translates to Just Upgrade My Phone), the service allows participants who pay a $10 monthly fee to trade in their existing phone for a new one at the same or lower price offered to new customers, and without paying the remaining payments due on the old device. After a six-month initial waiting period, customers can upgrade their phone twice every year, as long as they are part of the program.
That means no more waiting two years when the phone you want comes out a month or two after getting your upgrade.
“This is one of those things that annoys customers so much,” CEO John Legere said in an interview ahead of a New York press event. Legere said that the company wanted to address this issue when it first did away with two-year contracts back in March, but needed a little more time to work out the details.
And that’s not the only big thing going on at the No. 4 U.S. carrier, Legere said.
On Wednesday, T-Mobile is also adding a new family plan designed for the one in three U.S. customers who doesn’t have strong enough credit to qualify for a traditional postpaid contract.
Beyond that, T-Mobile is continuing to dial up its advertising, revamp its stores and add new devices (including Sony’s Xperia Z and the Nokia Lumia 925). Plus, it is quickly expanding its LTE Network — announcing Wednesday that its network now reaches 157 million people in 116 markets (including 73 of the Top 100 markets).
But is all this working?
Legere insists that it is, refuting the notion that T-Mobile has continued to lose share. Legere said that the un-carrier approach is resonating with consumers and luring people away from its three larger rivals in key markets.
Though Legere declined to give full details ahead of the company’s August earnings report, Legere said that T-Mobile is benefiting from more than just an initial iPhone boost — though he said it got that, as well.
“The un-carrier (approach) is really what started to work,” Legere said, sporting his now.....

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