updated 04:00 pm EDT, Fri October 9, 2009
Project Black involves new phones, HSPA+
(Updated with talk of $50 unlimited plan) T-Mobile's mysterious Project Black may be a combination of the company's phones and a rapid expansion of its fastest 3G service, a quick follow-up source said Friday. Rather than center on a specific device or a plan, Black would on pushing T-Mobile's upcoming high-end phones, including the Behold II, Bold 2 and Cliq, and matching them with the quick deployment of its 21Mbps HSPA+ network throughout the US. The timetable and the specific plans are still unknown by BGR and others.
The nature would explain beliefs that Project Black is meant to grow market share as it would address both T-Mobile's historic shortage of high-end, desirable smartphones as well as its relatively small 3G network, both of which may have cost it subscribers compared to larger carriers like AT&T and Verizon.
Update: a second source claims T-Mobile's strategy also includes the critical addition of a $50 Everything Unlimited plan that would provide unlimited domestic voice, messaging and data. It's unclear if this plan would apply to smartphones, but if so it would dramatically undercut rivaling plans from other carriers, which typically start at $70 or higher for unlimited data and often still have limited voice and messaging. If limited to conventional phones, it would still create competition for budget carriers like Cricket and MetroPCS.
The smartphone startegy is also now believed to involve the Nokia N900 as well as a second, unknown Nseries phone.