T-Mobile to sell iPhone 5 amid new no-contract plans

Other phones with no-contract approach include HTC One, BlackBerry Z10 and Samsung Galaxy S4

Amid an array of industry innovations announced today, T-Mobile USA said it will sell the iPhone 5 starting April 12 for $579, with the option of paying $99 down and $20 a month for 24 months.

The iPhone, and other smartphones, including the HTC One and Z10, can be used with three different cellular network plans that start at $50 a month for unlimited voice, text and 500MB of high-speed data. The other two plans cost $60 for an added 2 GB per month of high-speed data, and $70 for unlimited data. All three plans have unlimited voice and text.

T-Mobile said it will also offer the Samsung Galaxy S4 starting May 1, but didn't list pricing. The Blackberry Z10 will cost $532 or a down payment of $99.99 with 24 monthly payments of $18, while the HTC One will be sold for $99 on an initial down payment.

T-Mobile also said it launched LTE wireless service in seven cities today: Baltimore, Houston, Kansas City, Las Vegas, Phoenix, San Jose and Washington. Service to New York is coming soon, T-Mobile John Legere said in remarks at the New York City event.

Referring to the iPhone 5 availability, Legere said that "the experience will be beautiful day one" over several networks including the 1900 band for HSPA+, which offers speeds above 10 Mbps and theoretical speeds up to 42 Mbps.

"If you come to T-Mobile you have signed your last contract," Legere said. "If we suck this month, drop us!"

In a 30-minute presentation that included attacks on other carriers, Legere said, "We're canceling our membership in the carrier club."

He said the price for the iPhone 5 with wireless service will be $1,000 less than what AT&T charges over two years.

Matt Hamblen covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld. Follow Matt on Twitter at @matthamblen or subscribe to Matt's RSS feed. His email address is mhamblen@computerworld.com.

See more by Matt Hamblen on Computerworld.com.

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