T-Mobile to Offer iPhone 5 April 12th for $99 Down

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T-Mobile is finally getting the iPhone 5 April 12th with 4G LTE and no contract, starting at a very low $99. That's the up-front cost. The phone will cost $20 a month for 24 months along with $50 on its Simple Choice plan. Overall, T-Mobile claims that customers will wind up paying $1,000 less versus AT&T over two years. 

Keep in mind that the starting plan includes only 500MB of data. If you want 2.5GB you'll be paying $60 per month for the voice and data plan in addition to $20 per month for the device. That $80 total is still less than AT&T and Verizon Wireless. Unlimited 4G LTE would cost $100 total per month or $80 just for the Simple Choice plan.

Mobile hostpot functionality is included with the 500MB and 2.5GB plans, but you don't get unlimited tethering with the unlimited Simple Choice plan. That plan only includes 500MB worth of tethering. T-Mobile says you can buy additional tethering service for $10 for every 2GB. 

In addition to the value proposition, T-Mobile says its iPhone 5 will be the only model in the U.S. to support HD voice. Plus, when you're outside of 4G LTE range, you'll get 42 HSPA+ speeds, faster than AT&T's HSPA+ network.

T-Mobile claims that this "is a new and better way to buy wireless" because it is separating the device from the rate plan. You'll be able to unlock the phone once it's paid off. The iPhone 4S and iPhone 4 are also on the way. 

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Mark Spoonauer
Mark Spoonauer, LAPTOP Editor in Chief
Responsible for the editorial vision for Laptop Mag and Tom's Guide, Mark Spoonauer has been Editor in Chief of LAPTOP since 2003 and has covered technology for nearly 15 years. Mark speaks at key tech industry events and makes regular media appearances on CNBC, Fox and CNN. Mark was previously reviews editor at Mobile Computing, and his work has appeared in Wired, Popular Science and Inc.
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