It happened. It finally happened. Apple's iPhone
has arrived on the last major carrier in the "Big 4" discussion
. Well over a year after Sprint finally joined AT&T (first) and Verizon
(second) in the march to have the iPhone within one's phone portfolio, T-Mobile announced today in New York City that one of the biggest voids in its lineup was being filled. Launching alongside new pricing plans that are far simpler than any other postpaid carrier is the iPhone 5 for T-Mobile. The device will start at $99.99 on a 2-year agreement (with $20 per month for 24 months being applied to the phone price), and T-Mobile will also offer the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S in "select markets."
The phone itself is actually slightly different than what's already out there. The new iPhone 5, while retaining the A1428 model number, will have AWS support enabled from the factory. This means that the T-Mobile iPhone 5 will ship with support for all of T-Mobile and AT&T's high-speed broadband bands. Also of note, those who opt to pay T-Mobile full-price for their iPhone can have it unlocked instantly (without having to wait for one's contract to lapse), enabling them to immediately use their iPhone overseas with local SIM cards in their destination country. T-Mobile's iPhone 5 is also going to be the only iPhone 5 to support HD Voice calling, but unfortunately, that means it'll be active only when you're phoning someone who is also on T-Mobile. And as for T-Mobile's heralded Wi-Fi Calling feature? That won't be enabled on the iPhone at launch, but the carrier has signaled that it may be added in due time.
T-Mobile will begin selling iPhones on April 12th, and while a huge swath of folks who wanted an iPhone have already purchase one on a rival network, T-Mobile holdouts will surely appreciate having iOS as an option when they decide it's time for a new phone.