The iPhone has been make-or-break for carriers. AT&T had exclusivity for a while, hurting Verizon and Sprint until they got their hands on the iconic device. But T-Mobile is still in the dark, even as companies like U.S. Cellular nab Apple’s smartphone. But no longer.
At today’s T-Mobile Uncarrier event, the pink wireless provider finally revealed that it will start selling the iPhone on April 12 for $99 up-front. What’s more, it’ll be sold with T-Mobile’s new No-contract wireless plans.
T-Mobile iPhone 5 will support all of T-Mobile’s bands, including both LTE and HSPA+ 42 on the AWS 1700 band.
Yesterday, a set of new no-contract plans popped up on T-Mobile’s web site which let users get a pre-paid allotment of data alongside unlimited talk and text. In other words, no-contract. Sort of.
On T-Mobile’s new no-contract plan, users have the option to either pay full price up-front for the iPhone or pay a smaller down-payment, along with a 24-month payment plan of $20 per month to pay off the phone. The 16GB iPhone 5 starts at $99.
To be clear, if a subscriber chooses to pay a the $99 up-front at first, that subscriber will still be under a 20-month contract until the phone is paid for. However, that contract won’t apply to the wireless service, which is charged on a monthly basis with not many strings attached.
T-Mobile’s new plans offer 500MB of 4G data for $50, plus unlimited talk and text. You can go up to 2GB for $60, and $70 will get you unlimited data.
Essentially, this is a marketing move. T-Mobile has been offering phones on a down-payment basis for a while, but by tying the contract to your phone and not the service, the carrier instantly differentiates itself from the competition.
T-Mobile has made a huge push with its LTE network of late, and the iPhone’s introduction on the pink carrier should jibe nicely with that roll out.
You can pre-register for alerts on the iPhone here.