This morning, T-Mobile finally started selling the iPhone 5, the first iPhone available from the company since the Apple smartphone debuted almost six years ago. Reports of modest lines at various T-Mobile locations across the country have been coming in, which is a good sign for T-Mobile, which rarely sees lines for new devices. Coupled with the its new Uncarrier plans, customers are able to pick up a new T-Mobile iPhone 5 for $99 up front. Switchers are able to trade in a used iPhone 4 or 4S to get the iPhone 5 for free up front, with a $120 credit being applied to the monthly bill as well.
Are you going to go with T-Mobile as your iPhone carrier of choice?
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T-Mobile USA is set to launch the iPhone 5 this Friday, and in anticipation of the long-awaited event, it's offering current iPhone owners a free iPhone 5 if they switch from another carrier. Here's how it works: you bring in your iPhone 4 or iPhone 4S between April 12 and June 16, and you get a T-Mobile iPhone 5 at no cost up front, and a $120 credit that you can choose to apply towards your bill, extra accessories, or even an outstanding bill. The iPhone 5 would typically cost $100 up front, and an additional $20 per month over 2 years, so you are basically getting it with no up-front cost, and then a six month break on the monthly fee.
Of course, if you are mid-contract elsewhere, you have your early termination fee to worry about, which might put the kibosh on this one for you. However, if you have a spare iPhone 4 laying around, this could be an easy way to try T-Mobile's new smartphone plans out.
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T-Mobile is set to release the Nokia Lumia 521, powered by Windows Phone 8, sometime next month in May. The Lumia 521 sports a 4-inch display, 5 megapixel rear camera with autofocus that records 720p video, and the exclusive suite of Nokia apps like Nokia Music, Cinemagraph, Maps, Transit, HERE Drive, etc. The device will run on T-Mobile 4G (not LTE) network. T-Mobile is keeping quiet on exact pricing and availability for now for whatever reason, but the Lumia 521 won't exactly be flying off of store shelves, so you shouldn't have a hard time finding it once it lands at Walmart, Microsoft Retail Stores, and T-Mobile locations next month.
I have a bridge to sell you if you think AT&T's announcement had nothing to do with T-Mobile's hard push of its new HD Voice to its upcoming iPhone customers. AT&T Senior VP of Network Technology, Kris Rinne, was chatting it up at the VentureBeat Mobile Summit in Sausalito, California. She stated that the telecommunications company will support the HD Voice technology later this year in 2013. Nevermind that smartphones like the iPhone 5 have had HD Voice capabilities since October 2012.
@jason_diaz AT&T never implemented full rate AMR, much less AMR-WB, which is required for HD Voice.— Neal Gompa (ニール・ゴンパ) (@Det_Conan_Kudo) March 27, 2013
Rollout of newer technology has historically been AT&T's Achilles Heel; it took them over a year to include Internet tethering for the iPhone 3GS, despite carriers across the globe supporting it at launch. AT&T finally included the internet tethering, only after the iPhone 4 launched, with several deal breaking caveats such as forfeiting "unlimited" data plans and exorbitant pricing for data that customers are already paying for. On the brighter side, dropped calls will soon be in HD.
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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 customers looking to pick up the BlackBerry Z10, March 22nd is your day. AT&T announced this morning that it plans to start taking pre-orders for the BlackBerry Z10 starting tomorrow, March 12th. The device will sell for $199.99 with two-year contract, which we think is about $50-100 too high, but there you have it. It's expected that both Verizon Wireless and T-Mobile will both start selling the Z10 on the same day. Sprint, on the other hand, has decided not to sell the device, instead focusing on the BlackBerry Q10 with QWERTY keyboard.
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HTC has announced it's newest flagship smartphone--the HTC One. What makes the HTC One stand out among the rest? It's got a great design aesthetic and the specs to match. The One packs a 4.7-inch LCD display (bonded to the Gorilla Glass 2 enclosure) with 1080p resolution. That's an impressive 468ppi.
The HTC One also boasts an impressive camera that ditches the megapixel game in order to focus on vastly-improved low-light capabilities instead. The result is a 4-megapixel rear camera that HTC's marketing department has renamed UltraPixels, which each capturing 300% more light than a typical 8-megapixel shooter. It's a bold move, and it's in line with what Nokia's Lumia 920 PureView camera is all about. The One also has optical image stabilization (OIS) for both the rear and front cameras. Speaking of the front camera, it's also an ultra-wide angle camera, similar to what HTC packed into the Windows Phone 8X.
T-Mobile's John Legere revealed to Reuters that his network's iPhone launch will happen within the next "three to four months" rather than the next "six to nine." This estimated time frame, while not the most accurate, coincides well with T-Mobile's LTE rollout and network reframing.
"If the old industry structure chooses to ignore what we do," said Leger, "that's a potential."
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It appears that T-Mobile US parent company, Deutsche Telekom, brokered a deal with Apple that will see T-Mobile carry and sell Apple products in 2013. The writing was on the wall, as this was the last of the four major US carriers to carry the iconic iPhone and iPad. The news is still developing and Apple has yet made any public announcements.
"In addition, T-Mobile USA has entered into an agreement with Apple to bring products to market together in 2013." - T-Mobile
Of course, the only Apple "products" that T-Mobile would sell would be the iPhone and iPad.
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Apple could get access to an additional 33 million users as speculation circulates that T-Mobile could get the iPhone by next week. Scott Craig of Merrill Lynch is saying "speculation is heightening" as parent holder Deutsch Telecom is slated to ink a deal with Apple to bring iPhone to T-Mobile stateside. This past year, T-Mobile has been very busy making its networks iPhone-compatible to utilize HSPA+.
Perhaps this is a change of heart as just last week T-Mobile COO Jim Alling stated, "Make no mistake about it: We would love to carry the iPhone," … "However, we want the economies to be right for us." Still, it's a double edge sword not having the iPhone. "We recognize that it has been a point of churn for us".
T-Mobile would have had the iPhone last year if the U.S. Dept. of Justice hadn't opposed AT&T (T) proposed acquisition of the company on antitrust grounds. - Philip Elmer-Dewitt, CNN Money
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