NEW YORK T-Mobile US plans to offer free data downloads of up to 200 megabytes per month to customers who buy the latest Apple Inc iPad, as the No. 4 US mobile service tries to lure cost-conscious customers away from its bigger rivals.
Pricing at T-Mobile's rivals AT&T Inc and Sprint Corp will start at $14.99 per month for iPad data use, while Verizon Wireless will kick off its iPad data service at $20 per month, Apple said on Tuesday.
AT&T's minimum monthly price covers data downloads of 250 megabytes per month while Sprint will offer 1 gigabyte, or four times more data for the same price. Verizon's entry level data package will cover 1 gigabyte of data.
T-Mobile, which will charge $30 per month for 2.5 gigabytes of data, declined to say whether customers who opt for the free data service would have any other restrictions, such as data speeds. The company said it would provide more details during a media conference call on Wednesday.
The operator has been pushing an aggressive marketing and pricing strategy to try to win over consumers since March this year. So far its strategy paid off with second quarter subscriber growth, which broke a four-year declining streak.
T-Mobile started selling Apple's iPhone only in April this year, and the latest Apple product will mark its entry into the iPad market. Apple on Tuesday unveiled the iPad Air - a slimmer, faster model of its tablet computer.
(Reporting by Sinead Carew)