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TheStreet Open House

T-Mobile Finally Gets An iPhone of Its Own

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) - T-Mobile is finally getting an Apple (AAPL) iPhone 5 they can call their own. And, as history shows, good things come to those who wait.

At a glitzy event here in New York, T-Mobile showed-off an iPhone it hopes will raise its ranking from the position of No. 4 U.S. carrier. The model is designed to take advantage of the company's new LTE network that T-Mobile says it's building across the country. Unlike other iPhone models, T-Mobile unit will benefit from being able to "fall back" to their current HSPA+ 4G network speeds instead of the 2G or 3G back-ups that other carriers use.

The T-Mobile iPhone will be among the first to be priced under its new "no contract" scheme. That means the iPhone - as well as the Samsung Galaxy Note II, the Blackberry (BBRY) Z10 (which went on sale today), the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S IV (expected May 1st) and the HTC One will all sell for $99 down and $20 per month for 24 months.

This idea is part of T-Mobile's plan for simplifying how consumers buy and pay for a phone. They call themselves the "un-carrier". Unlike the other major carriers, T-Mobile is offering no-contract plans with unlimited voice, text and messaging plus a minimum of 500 KB of data for $50/month. Additional data will be added at cost in 2 GB increments.

T-Mobile estimates that after two years, users will be done paying for their phone, thereby eliminating those costs until a consumer chooses to buy a new phone. T-Mobile says its working on a way for users to sell, trade or exchange their phones within two years.

T-Mobile says the new scheme will save consumers money. Comparing their new plans with the competition (they used AT&T (T) as their example) the company estimates the savings as more than $1,000 over that two year span.

As for their new LTE network, T-Mobile announced that as of today it's available in seven metropolitan areas: Baltimore, Houston, Kansas City, Las Vegas, Phoenix, San Jose and Washington, DC. The LTE network is expected to be available in New York by the beginning of the summer, the company said.

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