Midday Report: T-Mobile Seeks iPhone Users; Apple iRadio Reported

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Customers inspect mobile communication devices inside a T-Mobile store, a division of Deutsche Telekom AG, in Budapest, Hungary, on Monday, April 23, 2012. Hungary plans to introduce a minute-based tax on phone calls in July this year to help it raise about 170 million euros ($225 million), after a previous proposal for a sales tax on telecommunication companies was challenged by the European Commission, Welt newspaper said. Photographer: Akos Stiller/Bloomberg
Akos Stiller/Bloomberg
T-Mobile makes a big push for iPhone users, and Apple may expand its music business.

Starting today, T-Mobile is offering a trade-in deal for people who are looking to upgrade from their iPhone 4 or 4S. They can get the upgraded phone with no money down. Instead they'll pay $20 a month for two years. That's on top of the wireless plan, which starts at $50 a month.

And the phone could cost even less, depending upon the condition of your trade-in. If it's in very good condition, you could get credits of up to an additional $120.

T-Mobile is also making a big push to recoup customers. It lost 2.1 million of them last year. It's now offering a deal to new iPhone customers. From now through the middle of June, it will sell the iPhone 5 for $100 down, plus $20 a month for a two-year service contract.

T-Mobile is also offering the new Blackberry (BBRY) Z-10 under for the same deal, and it will begin selling Samsung's (SSNLF) Galaxy S4 next month.

T-Mobile is a distant fourth among wireless carriers, behind Verizon Wireless (VZ), AT&T (T) and Sprint-Nextel (S). It recently launched a Simple Choice plan, which does not require a two-year contract. And it's in the process of acquiring a smaller rival, MetroPCS (PCS).

Meanwhile, there are reports Apple (AAPL) is ready to jump into the business of music streaming
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The service, which Apple has not confirmed, has already been dubbed iRadio in media reports. It's likely to resemble Pandora, with one big difference: CNET and others say Apple's service will have a prominent button that allows consumers to immediately buy songs they hear right from their iTunes account.

That means Apple could make money by selling music downloads as well as ads. That could provide a big revenue stream for the company and the music labels it partners with.

Reports say Apple is close to a deal with Universal Music and Warner Music, and the new service could be launched this summer. The iRadio is also expected to enable users to jump back to the beginning of songs.

But the field for music streaming could get very crowded. CNET says Google (GOOG) is also set to launch its own service as part of YouTube.

–Produced by Drew Trachtenberg


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