T-Mobile Adds the iPhone — and 4G, Too

T-Mobile, the only of the four major carriers not to offer the iPhone, has finally joined the club. At a media event today in New York City, the company announced it will begin selling the iPhone April 12 — but with a difference. Unlike the other carriers, which sell the iPhone for a subsidized price of $199 if one signs a two-year contract, T-Mobile is switching to only selling unsubsidized, contract-free phones. You make a $99.99 downpayment, and then pay $20 per month for two years to pay for your phone. That works out to a total cost of $580. According to T-Mobile CEO John Legere, you'll save more than $1,000 over two years compared to the cost of an AT&T iPhone and plan, thanks to T-Mobile's new rate plans.

The company also announced at the event that it's beginning to roll out its new 4G LTE network, which is now live in seven cities: Baltimore, Houston, Kansas City, Las Vegas, Phoenix, San Jose, and Washington, D.C. The carrier said that its 4G network will be available to 100 million people in the U.S. by the mid-2013 and 200 million by the end of the year.

T-Mobile also is making available the iPhone 4S and iPhone 4. The iPhone 4S will be $70 up front, with payments of $20 per month, and the iPhone 4 will be $15 up front and $15 per month.

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While that covers the price of the phone, how much is the plan? It's low: $50 per month for unlimited talk, text, and data. There is a catch, though. After you use 500MB of data, you will no longer get 4G speeds. Your other option is to pay extra money to up the amount of 4G data you get each month, such as $10 for an additional 2GB.

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Jim Karpen holds a Ph.D. in literature and writing, and has a love of gizmos. His doctoral dissertation focused on the revolutionary consequences of digital technologies and anticipated some of the developments taking place in the industry today. Jim has been writing about the Internet and technology since 1994 and has been using Apple's visionary products for decades.