Choose the best iPhone 5C or 5S carrier (infographic)

Buying a new iPhone 5S or 5C? Use this infographic to choose a carrier that's right for you.

For the first time ever, Apple's newest iPhones, the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C, will launch on all four major U.S. carriers: AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint. If your contract is up and you're eyeing one of Apple's new LTE iPhones, it's time to weigh your options.

To help you choose the iPhone carrier that's right for you, check out the infographic comparing every carrier's offerings.

Sharon Vaknin/CNET

Across all carriers, iPhone hardware will be uniform, but things get interesting when you compare each network's quirks. For instance, Verizon supports LTE in nearly four times as many markets as T-Mobile, while AT&T wears the crown for fastest average nationwide download speeds, according to a 6-month study conducted by RootMetrics across 125 US metropolitan markets.

For some, what it comes down to is pricing.

The new kid on the iPhone block, T-Mobile, offers one of the more interesting pricing packages, giving iPhone owners unlimited talk, text, and data for $70/month with no contract. To get that low monthly pricing, however, you'll have to purchase the iPhone outright ($649 for the 16GB iPhone 5S and $549 for the 16GB iPhone 5C). Otherwise, a $20/month for 24 months payment plan is also available when you put a "down payment" on the device.

AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint, however, continue to offer subsidized contract options where the iPhone 5C starts at $99, and the iPhone 5S starts at $199.

Once you've set your mind on a carrier, check out this guide to find out where, when, and how to buy Apple's new iPhones.

Editor's note: The infographic was updated on on September 12 to correct the number of LTE markets AT&T and Verizon currently support. As of September 4, AT&T provides LTE service in 397 markets, while Verizon supports 506.

About the author

Sharon Profis is a CNET How To expert who cooks up DIY projects, in-depth guides, and little-known tricks that help you get the most out of your tech. During her four years at CNET, she's covered social media, funky gadgets, and has shared her tech knowledge on CBS and other news outlets.


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