T-Mobile iPhone 6S preorders up 30% over last year

The carrier's outspoken CEO John Legere touted T-Mobile's iPhone 6S preorders in a Tuesday tweet.

Lance Whitney Contributing Writer
Lance Whitney is a freelance technology writer and trainer and a former IT professional. He's written for Time, CNET, PCMag, and several other publications. He's the author of two tech books--one on Windows and another on LinkedIn.
Lance Whitney
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T-Mobile is touting and tweeting about a 30 percent jump in iPhone preorders. CNET

iPhone 6S demand is off to a strong start, certainly at T-Mobile.

In a tweet posted late Tuesday, T-Mobile CEO John Legere said that the carrier's iPhone 6S preorders are up more than 30 percent over preorders from last year when the iPhone 6 was released. In his usual blustery style, Legere added in a tweet that "@TMobile customers are pumped to get the new #iPhone6s."

Preorders for the new iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus in the US launched Saturday, September 12, among Apple and the four major mobile carriers -- AT&T, Verizon Wireless, Sprint and T-Mobile. A week later, Apple announced that ""="" shortcode="link" asset-type="article" uuid="85d79026-6049-4c7f-89bd-52161e03c00e" slug="apple-iphone-6s-iphone-6s-plus-preorders-very-strong-in-opening-weekend" link-text="preorders for the two phones were " section="news" title="Apple: iPhone 6S, 6S Plus preorders 'very strong' in opening weekend" edition="us" data-key="link_bulk_key" api="{"id":"85d79026-6049-4c7f-89bd-52161e03c00e","slug":"apple-iphone-6s-iphone-6s-plus-preorders-very-strong-in-opening-weekend","contentType":null,"edition":"us","topic":{"slug":"phones"},"metaData":{"typeTitle":null,"hubTopicPathString":"Tech^Móvil^Phones","reviewType":null},"section":"news"}"> with online demand for the 6S Plus "exceptionally strong," putting the company "on pace" to surpass last year's initial numbers when it sold 10 million units of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus during their first weekend of availability.

The iPhone is Apple's biggest moneymaker, accounting for two-thirds of its overall revenue. So the company needs to generate strong consumer demand for its latest lineup. But this year marks an off-one for the iPhone, with less compelling changes than in 2014. One major new feature, called 3D Touch, lets you perform different actions on an app based on how hard you press its icon. Otherwise, the new iPhones mostly enhance the processor, camera, Touch ID, body and a few other features. iPhone 6 owners may not feel the need to upgrade, but users of older iPhones or those with rival phones running Android or another OS might feel the urge to buy one of the new models.

The new iPhones go on sale this Friday, September 25, through Apple as well as the major US carriers and various third-party retailers.

Legere didn't reveal the actual number of iPhone 6S preorders seen by T-Mobile. But the CEO did tout a deal for iPhone customers via Twitter. Starting Friday, you can purchase the new iPhone 6S for as little as $5, $10 or $15 per month through the carrier's Jump On Demand program. Introduced in June, Jump On Demand lets you upgrade to a new phone when you turn in your existing phone, up to three times a year. So the exact price you'll pay depends on which model iPhone 6S or 6S Plus you want and which model smartphone you trade in.

T-Mobile is taking advantage of the new non-subsidized mobile landscape that it kicked off in 2013. In the past, customers typically paid a subsidized price for their smartphones under a contract that restricted them to a new phone every two years. Now, all four of the major US carriers are either forcing or encouraging consumers to pay the full retail price for a phone, giving them the option to upgrade to a new one more frequently. Apple itself now offers an annual upgrade in which buyers can pay off an iPhone with a certain amount each month in exchange for the option of buying next year's model.