T-Mobile now lets you pay monthly for accessories

As previously rumored, T-Mobile has brought their equipment installment plan (EIP) to accessories. Starting July 20, you can pay for a set of earbuds the same way you do for a phone: monthly. As T-Mobile puts it, "our Un-carrier commitment to choice extends beyond phones and tablets to the accessories that make them more personal."

It won't work for ever accessory, though — only those which crest $69. So long as your accessory hits that price point or better (up to $250), T-Mobile will let you pay for it incrementally, just as you do your smartphone or tablet. T-Mobile isn't saying that a smartphone or tablet purchase is required at the time of purchase, but they hint at it several times in the press release.

For no money down, you can extend the cost of your accessory over 24 months. T-Mobile's EIP requires that you pay the full cost of a smartphone or tablet in full when you terminate your relationship with them, or trade up for a newer handset. It's unlikely accessories are available for any kind of trade-up, though.

For as little as $2.91 a month, you can have the accessory you like. Of course, that's just a clever way to keep you tethered to the carrier, who pioneered the open-ended contract. If you want an accessory, and don't mind dividing the cost up monthly, this might be the clearest way to go.