T-Mobile US has introduced GoTo, a new line of accessories for mobile phones and tablets. The GoTo line includes smartphone cases, screen protectors and a variety of chargers—car chargers, wall chargers and wireless charging pads.
Chargers start at US $9.99; smartphone cases at US $19.99 and screen protectors at US $24.99 for film, US $39.99 for glass and US $44.99 for curved glass protection. GoTo accessories are be available in T-Mobile stores nationwide and online, as of 24 January.
The operator also launched two new smartphone deals on 24 January to pair with a new GoTo line of accessories. Customers may pick up the latest Samsung Galaxy S10 or Galaxy Note10 series and receive up to US $1,100.00 off a second one via bill credits when they add a line (new customers add two lines). In addition, they can also receive up to US $400.00 off the latest Samsung Galaxy S10 or Galaxy Note10 series via bill credits when they switch to T-Mobile.
While smartphone accessories are hardly the stuff of cutting-edge technology bragging rights, they can be useful for a mobile operator in terms of device sales promotion, branding and even subscriber upselling and acquisition. This example from T-Mobile US shows how.
Chargers, cases and screen protectors may not get the hype that smart devices do, but they are either essential (chargers) or widely popular (cases and screen protectors). When it comes to high-end devices like the Apple iPhone, they are also expensive. By undercutting the device manufacturers on price, T-Mobile can reasonably hope to sell a good many of its GoTo accessories. Even if users initially buy the Apple or Samsung-branded accessories if they get the devices from the manufacturer directly, when they wear out or break they may well wish to buy a GoTo substitute for less money. And if the quality level of GoTo accessories is high enough, that will be a boon to uptake, given that many of the off-brand options on the market are of obviously poor quality and low durability.
Of course putting its own name on the accessories (along with a self-coined moniker, GoTo) serves to promote T-Mobile’s brand every time a user glances at his or her device, as opposed to the usual situation, in which one is reminded only of Apple (or whatever other maker) when looking down at it. Further, the branding will be visible to family, friends and associates of the user, and some of those may be thereby induced to look into T-Mobile for service contracts.
Finally, the addition of a quite generous suite of device rebates via bill credits in conjunction with the GoTo offering will likely have the effect of promoting device sales in tandem with the accessories sales. And the credits that come from adding lines or moving over to T-Mobile should be good for customer acquisition and retention.