T-Mobile gets iPhone, kills the contract

Culture
T-Mobile might be last with the iPhone but it's charging the least. I'm Bridget Carey and this is your CNET Update. T-Mobile will finally begin selling the iPhone 5 on Friday, April 12th. T-Mobile is the last to the major carriers to sell the iPhone. But buying the smartphone on T-Mobile now has a new twist. There are no more contracts. T-Mobile is breaking away from the traditional model by offering data plans that are cheaper and simpler. Also, there's a lower upfront cost to getting a top of the line smartphone. Customers can get the iPhone 5 for $100 and just pay $20 a month for 2 years to pay off the cost of the phone. It also costs $100 to walk out with the Galaxy S4, the HTC One and BlackBerry Z10. So, if you wanted to splurge and go with the top smartphone and T-Mobile's unlimited data plan, you'll pay $90 a month. That's $70 for the service and $20 for the phone fee until you pay it off. That only doesn't come out to be cheaper than other carriers but you also pay less for the phone upfront. If you want to leave T-Mobile at anytime, you can because there's no service contract. You're just responsible for paying off the phone. And if you want, you can trade that phone back for credit or if you wanna keep the phone and leave, T-Mobile will unlock it for you. If you're looking for a deal, it's cheaper to buy the iPhone 5 from T-Mobile than buying it unlocked from Apple. The only downside to using T-Mobile is that their wireless network isn't as advanced as some others. T-Mobile just launched 4G LTE speeds in 7 markets and it will expand that network throughout the year. It seems Google is desperate to get people to think its social network is cool. I say that because it just added the option to allow an animated gif as a profile picture on Google Plus. But Google did make a more useful update to its Google Plus apps for Apple and Android devices. The app has new photo filters and editing options and users can show their location with specific circle groups. You'll notice that Facebook has added the option to reply to someone within comment threads but the option is only for brands or company pages and popular public figures with more than 10,000 followers. That way, when comments get out of control, you could just reply directly to one commenter so it's easier to read. We have car news rolling out this week. As the New York Auto Show kicks off and cars are getting more techy. The new BMW 6 series has a voice recognition system that lets the driver dictate e-mails and text messages. And it also has a new digital instrument cluster so you can switch it to look traditional or sporty, and the car compared two phones at a time. That's your tech news update, you could find more details at cnet.com/update and you could follow along on Twitter. From our studios in New York, I'm Bridget Carey.

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