And the Un-carrier march continues unabated. This time, T-Mobile CEO John Legere address the consumer masses via YouTube to launch a new initiative that aims to help put a smartphone in the hands of anyone who wants one... and can pay their bills. Starting on January 25, T-Mobile's going to put less stock in your credit history and pay more attention to your payment history. If you've paid your dues on time over the past 12 months, you'll qualify for all those sweet, sweet no-money-down phone deals even if your FICO score looks a bit troubled. And new customers with less than sterling credit? They'll have to wait the 12 months before they get access to T-Mobile's carefully calculated largesse. Simple, no?
Legere calls the initiative "Smartphone Equality," and at first blush it's a pretty great deal for T-Mobile customers. With any luck, though, the impact this move has could extend far beyond the carrier's magenta-hued walls. We've already seen AT&T and Verizon (perhaps begrudgingly) change their stances over the past two years on early upgrades, up-front phone prices and rollover data not too long after similar Un-carrier initiatives made headlines and netted T-Mobile a swath of new subscribers. An across-the-board shift away from credit scores as a barrier to smartphone ownership would surely be troublesome in some ways, but on the flipside, it'd help connect the underserved and underprivileged in a time where internet connectivity has become more important than ever. We're not holding our collective breath, but props to T-Mobile for trying (once more) to push the envelope.