T-Mobile Wants You to Test Drive an iPhone 5s

The always aggressive T-Mobile is adding more marketing programs to entice users to switch to their network. The latest campaign is a cheekily-named "7 Night Stand" that lets potential customers test drive a new iPhone 5s for a week. This should give wary users a decent chance to test the phone and the coverage where they live and work. I know Verizon and AT&T customers that regret their decision, based on coverage in their house or office. It's a neat idea that T-Mobile hopes will turn those one-week stands into at least starter marriages if not something longer!

There are some caveats. The phone has to be ordered online, so you can't just walk into a T-Mobile store and start calling. So make sure you're not going to be out of town during the time it could arrive. If there's any damage to the phone, like a cracked screen or water damage, you're on the hook for $100 (which is actually reasonable for such damage.) But if you don't become a customer, you have to return the phone, or face a $699 replacement fee.

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T-Mobile intends to keep the program going with the next generation iPhone as well. This could be a good way to determine if you like the larger screen of the rumored iPhone 6 before committing. One test drive per year is allowed, per customer. This is a creative way to get iPhones into the hands of more users, and to let people determine if the T-Mobile network works where they need it to.

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Todd Bernhard is a bestselling (6+ million downloads) award-winning (AARP, About.com, BestAppEver.com, Digital Hollywood, and Verizon) developer and founder of NoTie.NET, an app developer specializing in Talking Ringtone apps including AutoRingtone. And his profile photo is of the last known sighting of Mr. Bernhard wearing a tie, circa 2007!

An iPhone is almost always attached to his hip or in his pocket, but over the years, Mr. Bernhard has owned an Apple Newton, a Motorola Marco, an HP 95LX, a Compaq iPaq, a Palm Treo, and a Nokia e62. In addition to writing for iPhone Life, Mr. Bernhard has written for its sister publications, PocketPC Magazine and The HP Palmtop Paper.