By Jim Karpen on Mon, 09/16/2013
T-Mobile has announced its pricing for the new iPhones, and it's definitely an appealing option. You can get the iPhone 5C for $0 up front and the iPhone 5S for a $99 down payment. Then you make monthly payments on top of the $50/month plan for unlimited voice, text, and data. For the iPhone 5C, you'll be making 24 monthly payments of $22/month. The total cost of the phone ends up being $528, which is less than Apple is charging. And the cost of your monthly plan will be $72/month. BUT, here's the sweet part.
After your phone is paid off, your monthly cost drops back to $50/month for unlimited voice, text, and data. The other carriers don't do that. Any way you look at it, T-Mobile has great rates.
Payments for the iPhone 5S will run you $22.91 per month, which with the down payment comes to a total of $648.84.
Unlike the other carriers, T-Mobile doesn't subsidize the price of the iPhone, and doesn't require a contract. Instead, it lets you make payments. Its 4G LTE coverage is limited but has been rapidly expanding this year. If you're considering this option, you'll want to make sure the carrier has coverage in your area. You can check its coverage map here.
You can find more about T-Mobile's plans here. Although it touts unlimited data, the reality is it caps the amount of high-speed data at 500MB/month for the $50 plan. If you go over that, you can still access its data network but at a slower speed. But 500MB should suffice unless you're using your device to do a lot of FaceTime or movie streaming over the data network. (Doing these things over Wi-Fi doesn't impact your data usage.) For $60/month, you can get 2.5GB of high-speed data, and $70/month comes with unlimited high-speed data.
I think if I were selecting a carrier in an area where T-Mobile has good coverage, I'd certainly consider the service. 500MB of high-speed data would be plenty for me, and I wouldn't mind having to switch to a slower speed if I went over that.
T-Mobile is now taking preorders of the iPhone 5C.