By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Bellevue, Wash. — T-Mobile will launch its version of the iPhone 5 at a discounted limited-time promotional price.
The carrier previously announced April 12 availability of an unsubsidized no-contract iPhone 5 priced at
$99 down, plus 24 equal monthly payments of $20, for a total price of $579 excluding Simple Choice rate plan.
The “un-carrier,” however, has decided to launch the phone with a special trade-in offer that lasts through Father’s Day on June 16. Qualified consumers who trade in an iPhone 4S or iPhone 4 to buy an iPhone 5 won’t have to make the $99 down payment.
In addition, with the trade-in of iPhone 4S, purchasers of the iPhone 5 will make 24 equal monthly payments of only $15. And with the trade-in of an iPhone 4consumers who purchase an iPhone 5 will make 24 equal monthly payments of only $19.
On top of that, depending on the trade-in value of their device, customers will also receive a credit of up to $120. The credit can be applied to the monthly iPhone 5 payments, to an existing T-Mobile bill, or to the purchase of accessories or another device.
The iPhone 5 becomes available Friday at 9 a.m. at all T-Mobile company-owned retail stores and the carrier’s website.
T-Mobile has also said the T-Mobile-network iPhone 5 will be available on Friday through indirect retailers as well, but indirect retailers don’t yet offer a monthly payment plan option with the sale of no-contract T-Mobile phones. It wasn’t certain whether indirect retailers would be able to participate in T-Mobile’s trade-in program in some way.
The carrier also plans to make the iPhone 4 and 4S available in select markets on Friday through its stores. The 4S will cost $69 plus $20/month for 24 months, and the iPhone 4 will cost $14 down plus $15/month for 24 months.
For optimum performance on the T-Mobile network, the iPhone 5 will be equipped with 4G LTE in the AWS band and 4G HSPA+42 in T-Mobile’s 1900MHz band. The iPhone 4 and 4S feature slower 3G technology.
HSPA+42 service is available in markets with a population of 225 million people.
Besides operating in HSPA+42 mode, the iPhone 5 will operate in LTE mode in the seven markets that the company turned on LTE service. The LTE network is expected to reach 100 million Americans by midyear and 200 million by the end of 2013.
The 3G-equipped iPhone 4 and 4S will be available in select markets where the carrier has migrated its HSPA+ network to the 1.9GHz band. HSPA+ at 1.9GHz is currently available in markets with a population of 140 million people and will expand to 200 million people by the end of the year, the carrier has said.
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