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T-Mobile Finally Intros "Un-Carrier" Plan, iPhone 5 Pricing

By - Source: T-Mobile | B 25 comments

Meow.Meow.

During a press event in New York City, T-Mobile finally revealed its move to nuke the typical ball-and-chain contract by simplifying its lineup of consumer rate plans into one "incredibly affordable" plan for unlimited talk, text and data. The company also finally debuted its 4G LTE network service in seven major metropolitan areas across the nation.

"These bold moves serve notice that T-Mobile is canceling its membership in the out-of-touch wireless club," said John Legere, president and CEO of T-Mobile USA, Inc. "This is an industry filled with ridiculously confusing contracts, limits on how much data you can use or when you can upgrade, and monthly bills that make little sense. As America’s Un-carrier, we are changing all of that and bringing common sense to wireless."

For starters, T-Mobile introduced the Simple Choice Plan which offers one line at $50 per month for unlimited talk, text and 500 MB of data. A second phone line can be added for another $30 per month, and then $10 for each additional line. 2 GB of "high speed" data can be added for $10 per month for each line, and unlimited 4G data can be added for $20 per month for each line.

So, in a nutshell, for $90 per month, T-Mobile customers can have three phone lines with 500 MB of data. Those who need more data can shell out $120 for three lines and 2.5 GB of data, or $150 for three lines and unlimited 4G data. That's really simple, but what's the catch given there's no contract to sign? Device payments are in addition to the monthly wireless bill – that's the catch.

For example, the carrier will be offering the iPhone 5 starting April 12. After passing a credit check, customers can pay $99 up front, and then $20 per month on top of the cellphone bill for the next 24 months. Although there's no contract, customers are still bound to a two-year agreement. But when compared to buying the phone through AT&T, consumers will supposedly pay $1,000 less in the end.

That $99 pricetag won't be just locked to the iPhone 5 either: T-Mobile will offer that price with the Samsung Galaxy S4 (May 1), BlackBerry Z10 and HTC One LTE-capable phones. The older IPhone 4 and 4S models will also be available and likely sold at a lesser up-front price point. Also available will be the Samsung Galaxy Note II and the Sonic 2.0 Mobile Hotspot LTE.

Chief Marketing Officer Mike Sievert said on Tuesday that if the consumer decides to leave T-Mobile after one payment or after ten payments, they can leave with no obligations save for the price of the phone. Customers with bad credit can pay at the beginning of the month whereas those with good credit can take advantage of the deals and pay at the end of the month.

In addition to announcing its new plan, T-Mobile switched on its 4G LTE network in Baltimore, Houston, Kansas City, Las Vegas, Phoenix, San Jose, Calif. and Washington, D.C.  The company's 4G LTE network is expected to reach 100 million Americans by midyear and 200 million by the end of 2013.

"T-Mobile is deploying the latest LTE technology, paving the way to LTE Advanced," the company said. "T-Mobile’s 4G LTE deployment will complement its existing nationwide 4G network — which third-party tests show rivals or beats existing LTE networks — creating what T-Mobile expects to be the fastest 4G combination in the United States. T-Mobile 4G LTE devices will automatically and seamlessly transition to T-Mobile’s nationwide 4G where LTE has not yet launched."

T-Mobile also introduced HD Voice which delivers nationwide crystal-clear high-definition calling and significantly reduced background noise. T-Mobile is the only U.S. carrier offering nationwide HD Voice for iPhone5, the company said.

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  • 0 Hide
    santiagoanders , March 26, 2013 12:37 PM
    How can you be bound for 2 years of service without a contract? The contract is what binds you.
  • 0 Hide
    wiyosaya , March 26, 2013 12:42 PM
    $50 for unlimited 4G data alone through a USB modem, and I would go for it. I do not need these other plans.
  • 2 Hide
    the1kingbob , March 26, 2013 12:45 PM
    So, essentially you sign a contract to buy the iphone and pay month by month for cell service? I just hope they don't get rid of the 30 buck prepaid plans they currently have....
  • Display all 25 comments.
  • 0 Hide
    whiteodian , March 26, 2013 1:14 PM
    It seems like they just traded the 2-year contract for a 2-year Phone loan. It does seem a little cheaper. $99 outright for phone + 24 months @ $20 = $579. I bought a Nexus 4 for $350 and pay $45 a month for unlimited StraightTalk. I've seen the GSIII for $449 recently. I'd pass on this phone "contract."
  • 0 Hide
    asnorton44 , March 26, 2013 1:15 PM
    So I am on a contract, does that mean I am on prepaid now, or do I finish out the contract and then its prepaid???
  • 0 Hide
    asnorton44 , March 26, 2013 1:17 PM
    whiteodianIt seems like they just traded the 2-year contract for a 2-year Phone loan. It does seem a little cheaper. $99 outright for phone + 24 months @ $20 = $579. I bought a Nexus 4 for $350 and pay $45 a month for unlimited StraightTalk. I've seen the GSIII for $449 recently. I'd pass on this phone "contract."

    Its the Galaxy S4 for $99 not the GSIII.
  • -1 Hide
    whiteodian , March 26, 2013 1:20 PM
    asnorton44Its the Galaxy S4 for $99 not the GSIII.
    I am talking about off-contract. Flat-out price. Just trying to compare. If you bought a brand new GS4 off-contract it would run you around $700 (same with iPhone 5, I think). Now that I think about it, it would be cheaper to just sign up for the 2-year contract since you only pay $99-$199 for most phones versus their phone loan program where you pay $579.
  • 0 Hide
    asnorton44 , March 26, 2013 1:24 PM
    Gotcha
  • -4 Hide
    internetlad , March 26, 2013 1:41 PM
    cell phones suck.
  • 0 Hide
    game junky , March 26, 2013 2:22 PM
    When they initially indicated T-Mobile was getting the iPhone, I was like crap - now how am I going to offload my AT&T iPhones for near retail cost. Well, with the not-so-discounted price tag they're putting on the iPhone5 I think it should be easy enough to still sell my iPhone whenever a model revision comes out that is worth shelling out the duckets for.

    Way to keep help out AT&T phone offloaders such as myself T-Mobile...:) 
  • 3 Hide
    falchard , March 26, 2013 2:39 PM
    Man I love being a T-Mobile customer.
  • 0 Hide
    dalethepcman , March 26, 2013 2:45 PM
    I think this is a great move for TMO customers. I think $70 for unlimited 4g, talk and text is a pretty good deal in the US (especially if you get tethering.) Too many people think an iphone costs $200, and their cell service costs $120/month, hopefully this will show some of them the real costs of an AT&T iphone.

    I just hope they reduce the length of the phone payment plan to correctly reflect the price of the phone.
  • 1 Hide
    shotgunz , March 26, 2013 3:29 PM
    I get no contract $20 a month for unlimited talk/text/data and call features in Toronto, Canada from Mobilicity. I don't get why service is so expensive in USA.
  • -1 Hide
    ttcboy , March 26, 2013 4:51 PM
    philipgreen521my buddy's sister-in-law makes $62/hr on the computer. She has been unemployed for 10 months but last month her paycheck was $20013 just working on the computer for a few hours. Go to this web site and read more www.****.com


    Coz she is doing the live cam shows.
  • 3 Hide
    sykozis , March 26, 2013 5:25 PM
    santiagoandersHow can you be bound for 2 years of service without a contract? The contract is what binds you.

    You still sign a contract....it just doesn't bind you to their service for 2 years anymore. When you buy a new phone, instead of subsidized pricing, they finance the phone for 2 years. The cost of the phone is divided by 24 and that is added to your monthly bill for 24 months. If you decide to leave T-Mo, you're responsible for the remaining balance of the phone price. That is what you're signing a contract for. Instead of a 2-yr service contract, you're signing a 2-yr financing contract.

    dalethepcmanI think this is a great move for TMO customers. I think $70 for unlimited 4g, talk and text is a pretty good deal in the US (especially if you get tethering.) Too many people think an iphone costs $200, and their cell service costs $120/month, hopefully this will show some of them the real costs of an AT&T iphone.I just hope they reduce the length of the phone payment plan to correctly reflect the price of the phone.

    T-Mobile takes the price of the phone, divides it by 24 and adds the value to the monthly fee. You're actually paying the retail price of the phone, but you're paying it over 24 months.....instead of what AT&T, Verizon and Sprint do....which is claim to give you a phone at X price while actually raping you for 2-4 times what the phone actually costs.

    I got a BBZ10.... I paid $100+tax up front (the tax is applied to the total price, not the down payment, so I paid $26.60 in tax). I'm paying $18/month for 24 months, equaling the remaining $432 (retail is $532). It's actually a pretty good deal if you can't afford to shell out $300+ on the latest smartphones in 1 shot. They don't charge you interest either.
  • 0 Hide
    sykozis , March 26, 2013 5:29 PM
    whiteodianIt seems like they just traded the 2-year contract for a 2-year Phone loan. It does seem a little cheaper. $99 outright for phone + 24 months @ $20 = $579. I bought a Nexus 4 for $350 and pay $45 a month for unlimited StraightTalk. I've seen the GSIII for $449 recently. I'd pass on this phone "contract."

    That's exactly what they did. You sign a 2yr financing contract instead of a service contract. You can pay off the phone at any time. For those of us that can't afford to pay $579 or $449 for a phone all at one time....this is actually a great deal compared to what AT&T, Verizon and Sprint offer.
  • 0 Hide
    TunaSoda , March 26, 2013 8:51 PM
    If only the service didn't suck...
  • 0 Hide
    livebriand , March 26, 2013 9:39 PM
    asnorton44So I am on a contract, does that mean I am on prepaid now, or do I finish out the contract and then its prepaid???

    More like you're on prepaid, but have the option of getting an interest-free loan on the phone. (it adds up to the same amount you'd have paid otherwise, surprisingly enough) Once you've paid off the phone (if you chose to go that route), you only have the prepaid service part left, and thus the bill drops - you don't pay the subsidized price if you're not subsidizing a phone.
  • 0 Hide
    hp79 , March 26, 2013 10:54 PM
    I wish AT&T did something like this. I would switch to tmobile if they had the coverage where I mostly use my phone. This new plan where you actually know how much you are paying for the phone seems much better than the way AT&T/Verizon/Sprint does, lower upfront phone cost but insane cost of service locked in for 24 months.

    And who cares about unlimited texting when nowadays people use Kakao/Viper/Whatsapp/GoogleVoice? Text message costs almost nothing to the carriers, I think it should actually be free with any plans.
  • 0 Hide
    Bloob , March 26, 2013 11:04 PM
    whiteodianIt seems like they just traded the 2-year contract for a 2-year Phone loan. It does seem a little cheaper. $99 outright for phone + 24 months @ $20 = $579. I bought a Nexus 4 for $350 and pay $45 a month for unlimited StraightTalk. I've seen the GSIII for $449 recently. I'd pass on this phone "contract."


    Retail price for iPhone 16GB is around $700. Nexus 4 is bit of a special case as it is sold at zero profit or small loss ( for Google ), in limited markets, in an effort to spread the ad-coverage.
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