T-Mobile never let on that its $99 down payment for the iPhone 5 was only a month long promotion, but according to Tmo News, all T-Mobile's iPhone 5 models will see a $50 price increase starting today. The monthly payments of $20 a month will stay the same, but the down payment is now $149. This means T-Mobile customers will pay $629 for the 16GB model over 24 months. An off-contract iPhone 5 costs $649 in comparison. So the iPhone 5 is still cheaper through T-Mobile, but you're getting a locked model, instead of an unlocked model.
The iPhone 5 now costs the same amount as the Galaxy S4, however, T-Mobile is still offering the HTC One for $99 down. HTC fans may want to take advantage of this deal before it also disappears.
Before it officially rolled out the iPhone, T-Mobile enabled LTE for customers using unlocked iPhones on its network, but according to TmoNews, the update also "negatively affected the signal and speeds achieved on the company’s refarmed PCS 1900MHz" spectrum. Luckily for T-Mobile subscribers, two TmoNews users "hacked" the carrier update to boost the data speeds of the T-Mobile iPhone. The hack does not require a jailbroken device, and it works on both the iPhone 5 and the AT&T/unlocked model. This means most T-Mobile customers will see increased data speeds by following the instructions below.
As always, make sure you backup your device before doing anything to your phone. You can also get the original carrier update from TmoNews if anything goes wrong. Be sure to thank @joe012594 and @cooldayr2 via Twitter, or ask them any questions if you need help.
T-Mobile announced it has sold more than 500,000 iPhones since it began selling the device in April, but the carrier also reported a 7 percent decline in revenue, according to AllThingsD. However, CEO John Legere said changes like acquiring MetroPCS and ending phone subsidies are having a "positive impact" on the company.
“Our first quarter operating metrics and financial results are showing positive impact from the changes we began making in the fourth quarter. CEO John Legere said in a statement. "Things only get more exciting from here, having brought T-Mobile USA and MetroPCS together to create the wireless industry’s value leader and premier challenger.”
T-Mobile CEO John Legere told AllThingsD that a MetroPCS iPhone is possible, but not "imminent". T-Mobile acquired the carrier on Wednesday, and is already planning to launch MetroPCS-branded devices that also run on T-Mobile's network. Legere did not say what devices are in the works, but did say that an iPhone is not out of the question. When asked if an iPhone is coming to MetroPCS, Legere replied: "The answer to that is not ‘No'". Legere also said a MetroPCS iPhone would have to involve Apple, before noting he had already reached out to T-Mobile partners.
T-Mobile's main focus is merging the two brands, and moving into new cities by offering MetroPCS handsets on the T-Mobile network.
“This is about customer migration, not network integration,” Legere said.
Legere told AllThingsD that T-Mobile is " working through a double-digit list of cities and plans to aggressively target new markets this year".
Just a quick reminder, the iPhone 4, 4S and 5 are now officially available from T-Mobile. New and old T-Mobile customers can now buy an iPhone from retail stores and online at T-Mobile.com. Don't forget, the iPhone 5 from T-Mobile is sold at full price at $100 down plus 24 monthly installments of $20. The $20 payments are added on top of your monthly service charges. However, there is no annual contract, and the device is $70 less than buying an unlocked model directly from Apple.
iPhones from T-Mobile are locked, meaning you will need T-Mobile to unlock the device if you decided to switch carriers. You will also be required to pay off any remaining balance for the device if you choose to stop using T-Mobile before the 24 months are over. The plus side of buying an unsubsidized phone is it allows you to upgrade your device at anytime, and you won't be locked into a two-year carrier contract.
Pre-orders for the iPhone 5 are now open at T-Mobile.com. You can purchase a shiny new iPhone 5 with no contract for $99 down and 24 payments of $20. That's $579 over two-years, and $70 less than buying an unlocked model directly from Apple.
The 24 payments of $20 will be added on top of your monthly service charges. T-Mobile's Simple Choice plans start at $50 per month for unlimited talk, text and 500MB of data. Each additional 2GB of data is $10 up to 12.5GB for $110. The T-Mobile iPhone is locked, but you can trade it in for a new device at anytime for "fair market credit". This also means you will need T-Mobile's permission if you decide to switch carriers, and will be required to payoff any remaining balance that you owe for the device.
T-Mobile did not forget about their customers already using unlocked iPhones on their network. The carrier plans to send out a minor iOS software update that will enable new features like LTE, Visual Voicemail and other "Network/Device optimizations" that are not available at this time. Anyone using an iPhone on the T-Mobile network with iOS 6.1.x or higher will receive the iOS update on April 5.
Previously T-Mobile customers could only use unlocked iPhones on the T-Mobile network, but that has all changed since T-Mobile has now become an official Apple carrier. T-Mobile customers will be able to buy the iPhone 5 (and iPhone 4 and 4S in select markets) starting on April 12. T-Mobile has also stopped subsidizing phones, meaning customers will still have to pay full price for any devices bought directly from the carrier.
Update (5/13/12): T-Mobile has raised the price of the iPhone 5. Here's the new prices:
16GB - $$629 ($99 down and $20 a month for 24 months)
32GB - $729 ($249 down and $20 a month for 24 months)
64GB - $829 ($349 down and $20 a month for 24 months)
No. T-Mobile is offering the iPhone 4/4S/5 contract free, not unlocked. This means you must pay almost full price for an iPhone instead of agreeing to a two-year contract for a cheaper subsidized rate. The phone remains locked until you pay it off in monthly installments. For example, a contract free iPhone 5 from T-Mobile costs $99, plus 24 monthly payments of $20, which works out to $580. An unlocked iPhone 5 from AT&T costs $649. A 64GB iPhone 5 with two-year contract from AT&T is $400.
The iPhone 4, 4S and 5 will be available to T-Mobile customers starting on April 12th. Online pre-orders will open on April 5th through T-Mobile.com. All three iPhone models will be offered contract free for a small down payment. Qualifying customers can nab an iPhone 4 through T-Mobile's new Simple Choice Plan for $15, and pay it off in $15 monthly installments for 24 months. The iPhone 4S will cost $70, and the iPhone 5 will set you back $100. Both the iPhone 4S and 5 will cost $20 per month until they device is paid off in two-years. The $15 and $20 monthly payments will be added on top of any normal data service charges. You can read more about T-Mobile's new no contract service plans here.
UPDATE: The iPhone 4 and 4S will only be available in "select markets".
T-Mobile claims its new "uncarrier" model gives cell phone users more freedom, but customers will have to finish paying for their device if they decided to switch carriers, or upgrade to a newer model. However, customers will be able to keep making monthly payments, or trade-in a device for "fair market credit". All phones will also be sold locked, so people will need T-Mobile's permission if they decided to keep the phone and move to a new carrier.