It’s hard to argue that the T-Mobile program lets test-drivers use the phone for “free,” since the company puts a $700 hold on your credit card for the entire period that you’re running around with an iPhone, flirting with the company but still uncommitted.
Of course, if you get bored with T-Mobile, you can take that iPhone that you paid the full unsubsidized price for and take it to…well, there’s one other GSM carrier in this country, so that’s better than nothing. With Sprint’s test program, you’ll have to sign a contract before you test-drive, then go through the process of returning the phone if Sprint doesn’t work out for you.
Sprint has lost a lot of customers in the last decade over network quality concerns, even as they claim that the next-generation Spark network will be done later this year.
Of course, if regulators approve a possible merger of Sprint and T-Mobile, the two can team up and offer some kind of even more interesting test-drive program.
Sprint Is Next to Give Free Trial Periods a Shot [Wall Street Journal]