Friday Poll: Will a no-contract iPhone lure you to T-Mobile?

T-Mobile broke some big news this week by announcing a change to no-contract plans and the long-awaited arrival of the iPhone 5.

Mike Sievert shows off the T-Mobile iPhone 5
T-Mobile chief marketing officer Mike Sievert shows off the T-Mobile iPhone 5. Lori Grunin/CNET

The big cell carriers have had a pretty entrenched way of doing business for a long time. Offer a big phone discount, tie customers in for a two-year contract. T-Mobile made waves this past week by rolling out a no-contract approach to plans. On top of that news, the company announced it was bringing in the iPhone 5 .

Suddenly, consumers have the prospect of buying a no-contract iPhone through one of the major carriers. This does come with some caveats. Pricing will be a bit different than we've all come to expect. There will be an up-front fee for the phone and ongoing payments until it's paid off. That means a 16GB iPhone 5 will require a $99 deposit and 24 monthly payments of $20. At $579, that still works out to less than buying an unlocked phone.

This doesn't mean you can sign up for a T-Mobile iPhone, cancel your contract, and run off totally scot-free. The iPhone 5 will be locked to the T-Mobile network until you either pay it off or remain a customer in good standing for at least 60 days. After that, though, you take advantage of the no-contract policy and move along, though you'll still have to pay off the phone.

For some people, the combination of iPhone 5 + no-contract + major carrier will be irresistible. Others may be wary of issues like network coverage, or prefer the old system of having a big up-front phone subsidy. Does a T-Mobile no-contract iPhone tickle your fancy, or are you happy with your current carrier? Vote in our poll and sound off in the comments.

About the author

Freelance writer Amanda C. Kooser covers gadgets and tech news with a twist for CNET's Crave blog. When not wallowing in weird gadgets and iPad apps for cats, she can be found tinkering with her 1956 DeSoto.

 

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