T-Mobile's iPhone 'Test Drive' Program Upgrades: iOS 8 Soon, iPhone 6 Units Later
Several months ago, T-Mobile US launched an iPhone "test drive" program allowing users to test an iPhone 5s on the carrier's network for seven days free of charge. The program helps users decide if T-Mobile's coverage is satisfactory in the areas they frequent, and also gives users unfamiliar with the iPhone a free introduction to the platform.
With Apple ready to release new iPhone hardware and software, T-Mobile has informed Re/code that it will continue offering the program and plans to upgrade the test drive units to iOS 8 within days of its public launch this Wednesday. T-Mobile also has plans to begin offering iPhone 6 units through the testing program, but it will take some time for those to become available as supplies will be tight in the early weeks after release and they will unsurprisingly be prioritized for customer purchases.
“We don’t have a definitive timeline, but we do intend to switch over in future,” a T-Mobile spokesperson said. “There are a variety of factors that affect that timeline, (including) product availability.”
T-Mobile's test drive program is one component of its ongoing "Un-carrier" initiative in which has sought to differentiate itself from the other major U.S. carriers. The latest piece of the program, unveiled last week, includes support for Wi-Fi calling and a partnership with inflight Internet service provider Gogo to allow T-Mobile customers to use text, picture message, and visual voicemail services on Gogo-enabled airplanes free of charge.