T-Mobile is offering customers a discount in the amount of $325 if they decide to buy an unlocked version of Google’s Pixel and then activate the handset on the wireless carrier’s new T-Mobile One unlimited data plan. But it is worth noting that this offer comes with conditions that basically do not allow people to combine the $325 discount with other deals, like mobile operator’s Carrier Freedom. Moreover, T-Mobile’s latest offer is limited to only eight smartphones for each account.
Some may see this as a not so subtle dig at Verizon Wireless. The Big Red, after all, was named by Google as the exclusive wireless carrier for the Pixel devices when the handsets were first introduced earlier this month. Indeed, Google had stated that the 5 inch Pixel would come with a starting price of $650, while the bigger Pixel XL will start at $770. About a week ago, Verizon had began selling the handsets, and even threw in a Google Daydream virtual reality headset (normally priced at $80) free of charge to customers who opted to preorder any of the Pixel phones.
But as made clear before, customers can still purchase an unlocked version of the Pixel -- they just have to buy it directly from Google (although technically speaking, the Pixels offered by Verizon are unlocked, the Big Red just forces buyers to also get a Verizon plan). What this means is that people can freely buy an unlocked Pixel and then have it activated on a carrier apart from Verizon.
Unsurprisingly, T-Mobile would take advantage of this. But things take an interesting turn because Verizon has chosen to respond to T-Mobile’s deal. The Big Red’s Kelly L. Crummey has taken to Twitter to say that the reason the Pixel is better on Verizon is because of the carrier’s LTE Advanced, which delivers 50 percent faster peak connection speeds in over 450 markets across the United States. Verizon’s George L. Koroneos has echoed the same sentiment, and even added the #betteronverizon hashtag.
But what does Google think about all of this latest development? It would probably would not mind -- what the two carriers basically are doing right now is generate more publicity for the Pixel devices, and considering we are going into the holiday shopping season, the timing could not be more right. And with the demise of Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7, Google is certainly looking to capitalize on the void created.
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