T-Mobile, the fourth largest US carrier, has officially announced that it will carry Apple's iPhone, beginning on April 12 with the iPhone 5, 4S, and 4. T-Mobile was the the last remaining holdout of the the big four, that includes Verizon, AT&T and Sprint, to sell the iconic smartphone. The delay was due to a variety of reasons, one being the economic ramification of the iPhone potentially outselling other handsets that are heavily branded by T-Mobile, which the carrier heavily relies on. The iPhone 5 will be able to run T-Mobile's LTE which, coincidentally, finally went live today in 7 cities: Washington DC, San Jose, Phoenix, Las Vegas, Kansas City, Houston, and Baltimore.
The unique twist is how T-Mobile will manage to sell both the iPhone and the other handsets it carries. T-mobile will allow customers to pay the full price or pay $20 installments over 24 months with a down payment of $99 and will not be requiring a two year contract. Along with this announcement, T-Mobile will also sell the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S in certain markets with HSPA+. Despite its small LTE markets, T-Mobile boasts very competitive service plans that might entice new customers to defect from other carriers. Example, $70 for unlimited calling, data and text. One perk for the switch is that T-mobile is marketing that it will be the only carrier with HD Voice deployment on the iPhone 5. Now the iPhone 5 will officially sell on an equal playing field in the US. Pre-order starts now.
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AT&T has just announced that they've come to agreement with Deutsche Telekom to purchase T-Mobile USA for $39 billion in cash and stock. Here in the USA, AT&T and T-Mobile are the two GSM wireless carriers, and combined, they currently serve 130 million customers. The deal still needs to be approved by the various regulatory agencies, and the companies have said they expect it to take just about a year before all is said and done. We're sure it'll al go smoothly, and we'll soon be left with just three major carriers in the US. Full press release after the break.