T-Mobile, the fourth largest carrier in the U.S., has today announced that it will carry the iPhone 5, as of April the 12th. Up until now, T-Mobile hasn't offered the iPhone, meaning it dropped behind its rival networks, AT&T, Verizon and Sprint. The iPhone 5 will start at $99 upfront, coupled with $20 per month in payments. Alternatively, users can choose to purchase the iPhone 5 from T-Mobile for the full price of the handset. The iPhone 5 will be compatible with T-Mobile's new LTE network, and will include HD Voice capabilities. T-Mobile is also selling the iPhone 4S and 4 "in select markets."
T-Mobile is introducing major changes to how it sells plans to customers, under its new "Un-Carrier" branding. Instead of pursuing users to buy an iPhone with a 24-month contract, T-Mobile offers the handset at full price, or spread over 24 months. A 16GB iPhone 5 will cost the user $99 upfront, followed by $20 per month; this results in the T-Mobile customer paying slightly less than the phone's actual worth. The iPhone 4S will cost $69.99 upfront, followed by $20 per month, while the iPhone 4 comes in at just $14.99, followed by $15/month payments.
T-Mobile has been unofficially supporting the iPhone for a while now, as long as the iPhone was unlocked. Now, T-Mobile can sell the iPhone from their stores and will be able to easily offer the handset, rather than persuading users to buy an unlocked phone, which usually cost more. Because all four major U.S. carrier offer the iPhone, they will all have to offer a competitive price. T-Mobile hopes that their Un-Carrier initiative will give them the edge; in their words, "We're still a wireless carrier, we're just not going to act like one anymore."
Source: T-Mobile | Image via Apple