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T-Mobile selling 16GB Samsung Galaxy S3 for $279 after rebate

Samsung's new Galaxy S3 smartphone is priced at $279.99 via T-Mobile, and that's after a $50 rebate.

Screenshot by Lance Whitney/CNET

T-Mobile users hankering for Samsung's Galaxy S3 will have to pay more than their counterparts on AT&T and Sprint.

The latest Galaxy S smartphone is now up for sale at T-Mobile's Web site but carries a price tag of $279.99 for the 16GB model, even after a $50 rebate. The 32GB flavor is selling for $329.99 after the rebate. Those prices include the standard two-year contract.

But T-Mobile's prices tip the scales compared with those at fellow Galaxy S3 carriers AT&T and Sprint. AT&T is selling the 16GB version for just $199.99. Sprint is now offering the same model at the same price, while the 32GB edition is going for $249.99.

AT&T's Galaxy S3 isn't out there just yet, though customers can currently pre-order. Sprint was supposed to start selling the new smartphone today, but its Web site indicates that both the 16GB and 32GB models are already out of stock. The company recently cautioned prospective buyers about "overwhelming demand and limited supply," explaining that the phone could be a day or two late.

A T-Mobile representative confirmed the launch, telling CNET that the Samsung Galaxy S3 is available as of today at select T-Mobile retail and online locations, including the carrier's 29 top markets. The phone will reach out to additional markets and retail locations over the coming weeks.

Verizon Wireless is also slated to carry the Galaxy S3, priced at $199.99 for the 16GB model and $249.99 for the 32GB flavor. The phone is currently up for pre-order at Verizon's Web site.

The T-Mobile rep tried to explain the carrier's higher price on the phone.

"Regarding the difference in price from other carriers, when pairing the Samsung Galaxy S3 with a value plan, T-Mobile customers are able to realize savings over the course of their two-year service agreement versus competitors - even with the higher device price point," the rep said.

T-Mobile's site doesn't point to any backlog or out-of-stock status. So consumers can order the phone right away if they don't mind kicking in the extra cash up front.

Updated 1:15 p.m. PT with response from T-Mobile.

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