T-Mobile, the only major U.S. cellular carrier to not sell the iPhone, will begin carrying the deviceon April 12th. The carrier will sell the phone under its new ##Q##Uncarrier##Q## policies as T-Mobile attempts to differentiate itself from other cellular networks with new ##Q##customer-friendly##Q## rate plans.
New iPhone customers will be able to purchase the 16GB iPhone 5 for $100 down, plus 24 monthly payments of $20. After the payments are finished, customers will see their monthly bills drop. On traditional subsidized plans from AT&T or Verizon, users pay $199 up front, and then see a subsidy payment invisibly built into their monthly plans. However, if the customer goes longer than two years without purchasing a new phone, the carrier continues to collect subsidy repayments as pure profit.
“This is an important day for people who love their iPhone but can’t stand the pain other carriers put them through to own one,” said John Legere, president and CEO of T-Mobile USA. “We feel their pain. I’ve felt the pain. So we’re rewriting the rules of wireless to provide a radically simple, affordable iPhone 5 experience — on an extremely powerful network.”
Notably, T-Mobile says it will be the only U.S. carrier to support the ##Q##Wideband Audio##Q## feature of the iPhone 5, calling it ##Q##HD Voice##Q##.
T-Mobile is also offering the iPhone 4S for $70 down and $20 per month for 24 months, and the iPhone 4 for $15 down and $15 per month for 24 months.
The carrier will charge a base rate of $50 per month for unlimited talk, text and 3G data, plus 500MB of 4G data. Customers can add 2GB of 4G data for $10/month per line, or $20/month for unlimited 4G. Additional lines have a base rate of $30/month for the first, and $10/month for each additional. The company officially rolled out 4G LTE service today in Baltimore; Houston; Kansas City; Las Vegas; Phoenix; San Jose, Calif.; and Washington, D.C.
Customers can pre-order the iPhone 5 beginning April 5.