tmobile lte ipad air

Yesterday I wrote a post going at T-Mobile pretty hard after it appeared to do the ‘ol bait and switch on its free 200MB/month data claims. I wasn’t alone. Numerous customers complained that T-Mobile reps were insisting that they sign up for a monthly plan in order to take advantage of the free data offer.

As it turns out, that was a mistake; a costly one as far as overall perception goes, but nonetheless a mistake. T-Mobile’s CEO clarified things yesterday via Twitter, and the company appeared to iron out any miscommunication between corporate and those on the front lines.

I’m very happy about this. Not so much due to the free data — everyone knows that 200MB on an LTE network is the equivalent to raving about skiing down a 10 foot slope — yes you went down fast, but it didn’t last very long. I’m happy because T-Mobile owned up to its mistake, and did what it said it’d do.

So, of course, I decided to return the Wi-Fi only iPad Air that I had purchased yesterday in disgust, and went with a 32GB cellular iPad with a T-Mobile SIM conveniently bundled in. In fact, it was so convenient that I didn’t even have to set a foot inside a T-Mobile store.

After finishing the exchange, I simply unboxed my iPad, turned it on, and went through iOS’ customary new setup process. During the process I was prompted to create a new T-Mobile account. No credit cards were ever needed for the setup, and I was issued my free 200MB of LTE “starter” data.

T-Mobile made the process painless and easy, and the fact that no credit card was required for the setup solidifies this as a great deal. You can even choose to use the free 200MB with iOS’ Personal Hotspot feature.

Indeed, I was pretty ticked off yesterday when it appeared that T-Mobile wasn’t actually doing something new, and appeared to be sticking to the oft-shady script of wireless carriers.

Today, I’m happy to say that I was wrong.

  • Ren Marc

    i dont understand what happened, so do we still have to pay for a line?

    i went to tmobile on thursday, i was told if you are not an existing member of tmobile, you would need to have a plan whether it was lowest or not, to buy an ipad. so does post basically removes that option making it 26.50 a month for an ipad air 16gb with free 200mb, or would you still need to have a line ?

    • Jeff

      You don’t need a line, just an account, which is free.

      • Stephen Hagans

        I bought one myself and am still fighting with them to provide me with what was promised. As of now, still no 200mb and they waive the additional $10/month for 6 months. I’ve called 5 times. Even got a response from John Legere stating he’s working on it. Any suggestions? I’m super frustrated. (0 down 16gb cell wifi model & brand newt mobile customer. No voice)

      • Hugh Jassol

        So, you can still finance even if its purchased directly from Apple?

        …or am I misunderstanding?

      • Ren Marc

        Jeff, are you an existing tmobile customer?
        I just bought an ipad air at tmobile, non existent line and was forced to pay the 500mb plan as a startup,
        ended up returning the ipad after speaking to numerous customer service
        reps indicating that if you are not an existing tmobile member you have
        to pay 20$ a month for 500mb or 10$ a month for the free 200mb.

      • Ren Marc

        followed up with corprate, and multiple tmobile store,

        there indicating that no matter what you need an account, and an account is not free because you need to have an existing line on the account, therefore if you not an existing member you pay either 10, 20$ + for whatever plan you go.

        this is kind of discouraging as i was assuming that i would be able to buy an ipad air 16gb no downpayment at 26.50$ a month with 200mb, and thats it. dont have to worry about anything else.

        but i guess that is not the case, since tmobile will not make any profit on that.

        if you guys find out anything please let me know. ive spoke to many representatives already, im already angered and burnt out . thank you all, and have a wonderful day.

      • Stephen Hagans

        According to TMobile, this is not true. They are stating you still need a voice line in order to get the 200MB plan… maybe Im just having horrible luck with the reps I’ve been getting but this is what theyre telling me. I am a brand new TMobile customer.

  • “… yes you went down fast, but it didn’t last very long.” That’s what she said?

  • Matthew

    I have a stupid question. If you do’t need to put in a credit card or anything how of they charge you the $26 a month?

    • Stephen Hagans

      Credit.. They bill you.

  • Hacker4life

    I bought my iPad Air on Friday and I was able to setup free 200mb on my own.
    It’s simple.. Make sure your wifi is turn off. Make sure you don’t choose any data option when signing up. If you need additional help let me know.


    Here we have a operator which provides 2 Gb per month for up to 10mbit/s for one time payment of like $50

    • Guest


  • jamp1483

    Hey Are they making you pay the 10 dollars for the starting kit?

    • Jeff

      If buying from Apple, no. The SIM is already inserted, just setup and go.

      • jamp1483

        I was trying to go with the month to month plan

  • Jason Masters

    American carriers are so far behind it’s practically pathetic when I lived in Italy I loved the service out there everything was prepaid and was relatively affordable they have a vastly superior system of plans with both data and voice it’s sad that the USA is supposed to be this superpower yet we trail behind in simple things such as cellular plans and phone subsidizing?

    • besweeet

      It’s because they (most of them, at least) know that they can get away with it, because the people will put up with it. Of course, T-Mobile is still shaking things up for the better.

      • Jason Masters

        Yeah I agree

  • Lance Baker

    Will they be doing the same with the new iPad Mini?

    • chumawumba

      Why shouldn’t they?

  • David Saltares

    Could I purchase the iPad air from T-Mobile and then use my AT&T SIM card to use my 3gb of monthly data instead of t-Mobile’s 200mb of data instead?

  • Jeremiah2911

    Is the t mobile iPad unlocked so I can use it on the verizon network instead.

    • Al

      As far as I know… T-Mobile don’t allow tablets that wasn’t purchased through them onto there network. I could be wrong… but I’ve heard stories that are really strict about it.

  • Al

    Although it’s perceived as being fixed… there’s still rumblings of confusion among T-Mobile representatives.

    The public was under the impression… walk into the T-Mobile store for the 0 down no interest attached with the iPad Air and walk out paying strictly for the SIM card barring you have excellent credit. But yesterday they attached a “finance charge” of 10 bucks a month for which that was not part of the deal when it was initially presented to the public.

    Yet, the only way to get the 200MB of free data is to either be an existing T-Mobile customer or pay the cellular iPad Mini outright. Although, the CEO has admitted the mistake.. there’s still a tons of people throughout the company not on the same page. If anyone is interested in the deal… It’s best to wait until the dust settles off. Because it’s a definitely a great deal…

  • Blip dude

    the mistake hasn’t been fixed. Now I putting up a bet and hope one of the Apple stores I go to today (Website says available for pickup), and switch the AT&T Air for a T-mobile one (yes, stupid me I know). I didn’t know it was Universal LTE until Friday afternoon, but I also didn’t know there was a bait and switch type of situation going on at T-mobile as well.

    However, since Jeff was able to get his 200MB of free right from the iPad itself, hopefully I can struck luck as well.

    • Blip dude

      Update: Okay I was able to do a switcheroo (typo?) and got a T-mobile iPad. But boy did this turn into a wild goose chase. I couldn’t do a direct exchange at Apple so I had to do a gift card refund and placing a transaction again. Then I had to go to 2 AT&T stores, told them the iPad came with no SIM, one store said bulls*** go tell it to Apple (not literally), and the other believed it but had me set up a Data plan on the Spot, I agreed. I walked out with a 1GB/3mo plan, went home, popped in T-mo SIM, and I got my “Starter Data” without having to enter any credit card info.

      So, moral of this story that no one will care about?? If you really want your 200MB of free Data NOW instead of waiting for T-mo bait-and-switch-ish situation to work out: Get a T-mobile iPad from Apple instead, and the process will pretty much be flawless.

  • Ren Marc

    Jeff, are you an existing tmobile customer?
    I just bought an ipad air at tmobile, non existent line and was forced to pay the 500mb plan as a startup,
    I ended up returning the ipad after speaking to numerous customer service reps indicating that if you are not an existing tmobile member you have to pay 20$ a month for 500mb or 10$ a month for the free 200mb.

    • Mike Colacone Saal

      they just fixed that 10 dollar a month thing. I spoke with them and mentioned the tweet their CEO posted and they said they just received the email and EVERYONE, current customer or not, gets the free data. it was an error

  • moofer

    You weren’t wrong; they were.

  • Let’s see how long it takes for the other carriers to copy this.

  • noecuhh

    okay so who is receiving the $10 bill credit?
    I am not a t-mobile customer but wish to get the payment plan for a mini retina on release, hopefully if they give everyone a $10 bill credit i can chose a $20 plan for always on data and just pay 10 after credit.. possible or no?
    Also the only option i see online is 500mb plan not even on demand anymore :0

  • Ren Marc

    It has been confirmed by T-Mobile, that new customers must pay an extra 20$ a month for a 500mb line to receive an additional 200mb. therefore this T-Mobile simply mislead the general public about their advertisement.

  • Vijay

    Mobile data is very essentials for mobile companies which are maintains this types of data for improvement in their mobile phone related services..Great Post….

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