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macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001

T-Mobile announced that it will carry the iPhone 5 this morning at its "Uncarrier" event in New York City, alongside new pricing plans. Though the iPhone 5 is not a new device, several media outlets went hands-on with the device after the event to test out the phone's speeds, pricing, and feature set.


Gizmodo tested the iPhone 5's HD voice feature, which takes advantage of the wideband audio on the iPhone 5 to deliver better sound quality. On a T-Mobile iPhone-to-iPhone call, the difference was notable.
Calling from one T-Mobile iPhone to another, my caller's voice came through loud and clear. You know how sometimes cell-to-cell voice calls can sound a little fragmented? Like little bits of sounds are being dropped? This didn't have that. It was a much more natural sounded call. It was a bit richer, and definitely fuller. I wouldn't say it was like night and day, but it's definitely a noticeable improvement.
Engadget went hands on to test the T-Mobile LTE speeds of the Note II, the HTC One, and the iPhone 5, finding that T-Mobile's LTE network performed well.
Finally, we tested two separate iPhone 5s and, interestingly, saw different speeds. The first averaged 26Mbps down, the second 18 - despite being tested at the same time. [Upload] speeds hovered around 10Mbps and pings were always very good, typically under 50ms.

So, as ever numbers vary widely from test to test, but the network can certainly deliver some impressive numbers on average.
Engadget also clarified what happens if users buy an "Uncarrier" phone and then cancel service. As it turns out, a purchased T-Mobile iPhone must be bought out, but users also have the option of continuing to make monthly payments or trading it in for another device. When trading it in, T-Mobile will provide "fair market credit" for the phone.

Feature wise, T-Mobile phones typically ship with WiFi calling, which is designed to allow users to make and receive calls from a T-Mobile phone on any WiFi hotspot in the world. As Engadget points out, that feature will not be included when the iPhone 5 initially launches, but may be included in the future.

With T-Mobile's new UnCarrier plan, the total cost of the 16GB iPhone 5 is $579, with an upfront fee of $99 plus 24 monthly payments of $20. When payments are complete, the phone can be unlocked. In comparison, a fully unlocked iPhone directly from Apple costs $649.

T-Mobile's iPhone 5 will be in stores on April 12th and can be pre-ordered online beginning on April 5th.

Article Link: T-Mobile's iPhone 5 Reviews: LTE Speeds Are Impressive, HD Voice Difference Notable


Jun 21, 2010
HD voice is the only thing interesting about this.

LTE speeds are nothing to note because VZW and AT&T have had these speeds for a long time now and they will be getting better when LTE-A launches by year end.


macrumors 68020
Apr 15, 2004
Washington DC
Still a little confused about the new "tweaked" Model A1428 (Now called the AT&T model) that enables AWS.

Is it enabling AWS for 3G as I thought the current iPhone supports LTE AWS?


Ahh it seems going forward the new "AT&T/T-Mobile"/Model A1428 will now include AWS 3G.


macrumors 68040
Jul 6, 2008
Atlanta, GA
Hopefully this makes AT&T and Verizon change up their pricing.

And by change up pricing I mean make it cheaper. :D


macrumors member
May 6, 2008
I have to say, I'm excited. An iPhone with unlimited voice, texting and 3G data for $70/month - with tethering, HD Audio, and the possibility of WiFi calling - is freakin' awesome.

I'm in an area with shoddy reception, but always have WiFi when I'm at home or in the office. The WiFi calling feature would work much better than my current Google Voice + Talkatone setup, which shows up as being from a separate phone number than my main line.


macrumors regular
May 25, 2012
Well here in DC service with T-Mobile can sometimes be better than Verizon (the standard). Now it's just deciding between the iPhone 5, Galaxy S4, Nexus 4 or waiting for the 5S whenever that comes. First world problems, I know.

Either way, looking forward to getting some T-Mobile LTE. It's about damn time. They have always been great to me. If you live in the DC area, their coverage is typically insanely good. As always, YMMV


macrumors 68040
Jul 6, 2008
Atlanta, GA
Can someone explain to me how T-Mobile will still make a profit out of all this?

I think they're banking on people staying to use their service.

You don't want to use their service? So what. Just pay for the device and get out. They break even.

The Big Two can do this too but they've been raping our pockets for this long. Why stop now?


Jun 21, 2010
Hopefully this makes AT&T and Verizon change up their pricing.

And by change up pricing I mean make it cheaper. :D

Why would they bother? They are both constantly adding more customers every quarter whereas TMobile is losing people.

Let's not forget VZW/AT&T probably have more LTE out there than TMo has 3G right now. THeir coverage and customer service are medicare.

You truly get what you pay for.


macrumors 6502a
Jun 15, 2010
Can someone explain to me how T-Mobile will still make a profit out of all this?

right now t-mobile is de-coupling the price of the phone and the phone bill. that's the beauty of it! their prices are so low because it no longer builds in the higher pricing used to recoup the phone subsidy


macrumors 603
Aug 17, 2007
Is T-Mobile really competition for Verizion and AT&T? I don't see the two changing their subsidies and prices...:confused: Here's hoping this changes thing across the board.


macrumors regular
Jun 9, 2009
this isn't any cheaper than anyone else for those who upgrade after every couple or whenever eligible. All they're doing is shifting around the #'s

$70 is great for all this unlimited stuff - but you've forgot to tack on another $20 for the "phone loan".

$90 grand total. It's great marketing though to artificially make your pricing look so low so since all of NA is used to looking at the monthly with subsidies.


Jan 18, 2005
Mobile is creeping up to home internet speeds! (well there's still 40mbps to go, but it's a leap over 3G)


macrumors newbie
Jan 26, 2011
Los Angeles
The best aspect on this news, is that T-mobile is trying to actively disrupt the duopoly that AT&T and Verizon have by not following the same formula. I know that T-mobile doesn't have LTE speeds in as many areas, although living in LA with AT&T LTE speeds is lackluster, but I now have an option to vote with my wallet. If enough people do, it'll create a stronger competition among the companies which is only good for the consumer.


macrumors G5
May 2, 2002
I'm not interested in HD voice--I hear people perfectly clearly already, and I'm sure I'd notice the additional quality, but it's like saying texts have a better font: it's nice but not the point. I'm communicating, not recording a concert. (I do want to avoid dropouts--but that's a factor of having a good signal. AT&T covers my neighborhood strongly. T-Mobile does not, yet.)

I AM interested in the pricing model and having a new way to escape AT&T and Verizon when my contract is next up. I'll even settle for a weaker signal within reason. I'm even willing to settle for HSPA+ 4G if my city doesn't gain LTE right away. LTE is often faster than my WiFi! Awesome, but I can't say I truly need that.

(Do we know the tethering details? I'm reading conflicting info.)


macrumors 601
May 28, 2008
Well that sucks. I can't take my factory unlocked Verizon iPhone 5 to T-Mobile and use their AWS 3G/4G spectrum. They are re-farming their spectrum to the compatible band here in Houston, but that doesn't help me nationwide until they re-farm every market.
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