What You Need to Know About the T-Mobile iPhone 5 Deal

iPhone comes to T-Mobile


[Photo Credit: T-Mobile]

I am excited to read of T-Mo’s recent announcement regarding its acquisition of Apple’s flagship phone, the iPhone 5. Now that T-Mo CEO John Legere has made the public announcement, the question becomes, “What do we need to know about the iPhone 5 deal?” One of the first things to remember is that T-Mo will now join the ranks of the other three national carriers (Sprint, AT&T, Verizon) who already sell the iPhone in their stores. When T-Mo’s first carrier-branded iPhone 5 arrives next month (that’s right, folks: it’s gonna have T-Mo branded on the iPhone; how cool is that?), T-Mo will enter the ranks of the top national carriers and solidify her place as a heavy contender. The other three “cowboys” (borrowed from one of T-Mo’s newest commercials) will not laugh at Magenta anymore.

The next thing you need to know about T-Mo’s new deal is that the iPhone 5 can be purchased for $99 down. There is a caveat to this, however: you’ll have to submit to a credit check in order to get the $99 deal. As Steve Kovach of Business Insider reports:

“Assuming your credit is good (yes, there’s now a credit check involved if you want to buy a new phone or plan from the carrier), T-Mobile will ask you to pay $100 for the iPhone 5 up front” (Steve Kovach, “We Did the Math, And It Turns Out the T-Mobile iPhone 5 Could Save You a Bunch of Money”).

If your credit is not so hot, you may want to consider paying more for the device up front than just $100. Most contract customers pay $199 up front for the cost of their iPhone, so you may find you’re comfortable with $199 if you don’t pass T-Mo’s credit check.

Another fact that is significant about the T-Mo announcement is that, should you choose the monthly installment plan, you will likely be required to pay a monthly fee of approximately $15 or $20 a month — in addition to your phone plan price. Let’s say, for example, you decide to purchase the $70 unlimited plan; the price of your bill each month will be $85 or $90 instead of $70, since the additional phone price will be attached to the plan price. This means that, despite your freedom to upgrade or change your plan at any time, you will still pay contract-like prices. Until you pay for the entire cost of your phone, T-Mo will lock you into its own network. Once the cost of your phone ($580) is paid off completely, your device can be unlocked and you’re free to do with it what you wish.

Last but not least, Apple is partnering with T-Mobile to sell both locked iPhone 5s and unlocked iPhone 5s in its retail stores. This means that those of you who, like me, live for prepaid agreements will now be able to purchase your unlocked iPhone 5 at a local T-Mobile near you. You will not have to go to the Apple Store or online to Apple.com to purchase your device — although, should you want to use those venues, you are always free to do so.

These are just a few things you need to know about T-Mo’s new iPhone 5 deal with Apple. If you can handle all these, head on over to T-Mobile’s page and pre-order your T-Mo branded iPhone 5 today.