T-Mobile really wants you to jump ship from the carrier you're currently using and make your way over to the company represented by a magenta "T." It is currently offering a promotion through May 8 where customers can trade in their old phone, from any carrier, for a guaranteed $50, as long as it still works. And if they have a smartphone, they'll get even more, up to $200 for any version of the iPhone. This of course requires customers to sign a new two-year service agreement with T-Mobile.
The promotion is called "Magenta Deal Days," and T-Mobile is using it as an opportunity to boast about its 4G network. Even though T-Mobile's 4G is markedly slower than the LTE-powered networks on AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon, it has nationwide reach, and anyone upgrading from a 3G phone will still notice a difference. And that points to what kind of customers are really the target here.
The trade-ins break down like this - $200 for an iPhone, $100 for a phone powered by Android, Blackberry, Windows Mobile/Phone, or Symbian 9.0+, and $50 for any other phone. $200 for an iPhone is nice, but $50 for a three-year-old, free-after-rebate flip phone is ridiculous, and clearly the bulk of this attention is going to those customers. The following quotation from T-Mobile marketing SVP speaks clearly to that: "No matter how old their phone, and even if it’s valued less, T-Mobile will offer customers a guaranteed minimum trade-in value so they can get rid of those old devices gathering dust and move up to a newer, faster T-Mobile 4G smartphone."