For jetsetters hoping to utilize T-Mobile’s iPhone for all of their international jaunts, we’ve a bit of bad news for you: WiFi Calling isn’t going to hit the carrier’s iPhone initially. Here at today’s T-Mobile UnCarrier event in New York City, the company’s chief marketing officer Michael Sievert told me that “it’s not coming” at launch, but when pressed, he confessed that T-Mob “loves its WiFi Calling feature, and I’ll have to leave it at that.” I then asked if it’s on the roadmap, and if the company would like to have it included in an ideal world, which garnered a smile that I can safely assume means something positive for the future.
Of course, WiFi Calling — which enables travelers to make and receive calls from their US phone number while latched onto a WiFi hotspot anywhere in the known universe — works today on Android, but iOS fanatics aren’t being given a clear date as to when they’ll be brought up to speed. That said, at least T-Mob will sell you an iPhone unlocked, assuming you pay the full MSRP up front. Sievert affirmed to me that if a customer rolls into a T-Mobile store and pays the full price for iPhone, the reps onsite will be empowered to unlock it “on the spot.” Oh, and as for that MSRP? It’ll be the one(s) set by Apple, so you won’t be facing any carrier-induced premiums either.
In fact, you could actually come out a bit cheaper if you’re willing to wait a month. Sievert explained to me that if you picked up a baseline iPhone 5 for $99 with a new T-Mobile agreement, and then paid the first $20 towards its total cost after your first month of service, you could then pay the thing off in full at the amortized rate… meaning that a $649 phone would cost you just $579. And it’d be unlocked for use on any carrier in the world after just a month with T-Mob. Not bad!