iPhone 5 monthly plan comparison: T-Mobile vs AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint

iPhone 5 monthly plan comparison: T-Mobile vs AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint
So, you're planning on getting a T-Mobile iPhone 5, eh? Good choice! That's not only because the iPhone is among the best smartphones out there, but also because you'll be able to pair it with a very affordable monthly service plan – unlimited minutes, text messages and data for $70 per month is quite a deal, no matter how we slice and dice it. How does that stack up to the competition's offerings? Well, that's what we're about to find out!

First and foremost, T-Mobile now has the cheapest unlimited data plan among the nation's four major wireless carriers and there's zero doubt about it. In comparison, a similar unlimited plan from AT&T, Verizon, or Sprint would cost you roughly $40 extra each month (or nearly $1000 over the course of 2 years). That's why as a result, owning a T-Mobile iPhone 5 will be easier on your budget than picking one from a different major carrier, especially in the long run. Sure, AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint do subsidize the iPhone's price, thus bringing its cost down to $199, while T-Mobile will be asking $580 for a base model, either paid in monthly installments or outright, but even with that cost difference thrown into the equation, the figures are still in favor of T-Mobile.

But as the saying goes, you get what you pay for. While T-Mobile has the best rates, we can't quite say the same about its network coverage, which gets spotty outside of metro areas. That's not a problem for users that rarely need to travel outside of a major city, but others might find it very inconvenient. Thankfully, that's likely to change in the near future as the carrier expands its network and continues its LTE rollout. Speaking of LTE, at first you won't be getting such service from T-Mobile on your iPhone unless you live in one of the few markets where it's available. AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint, on the other hand, have long deployed LTE towers in a great number of cities and already cover a considerable fraction of the population. 

Yet overall, buying an iPhone 5 from T-Mobile and pairing it with an unlimited plan seems like a good deal, especially since you aren't required to sign a long-term contract. In case you're tempted as well, mark April 12 in your calendar as that's when the smartphone will land on the carrier's shelves. For more details as to how T-Mobile's unlimited plan compares to what the competition has to offer, we've put together a detailed comparison below!



*As of March 27, 2013. For AT&T and T-Mobile, "4G network" includes HSPA+ and LTE.

Related phones

iPhone 5
  • Display 4.0" 640 x 1136 pixels
  • Camera 8 MP / 1.2 MP front
  • Processor Apple A6, Dual-core, 1300 MHz
  • Storage 64 GB
  • Battery 1440 mAh(8h 3G talk time)

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86 Comments

1. lovenyc8

Posts: 164; Member since: Mar 13, 2013

T-mobile is the best all other 3 companies are money hungry and less services

4. SkurtMcGurt

Posts: 21; Member since: Dec 18, 2012

This could possibly be the dumbest comment I've ever read

7. quesoesgrande

Posts: 217; Member since: Aug 03, 2011

T-Mobile is cheaper. Some of us don't like paying an arm and a foot to greedy carriers who care little for the consumer.

8. lovenyc8

Posts: 164; Member since: Mar 13, 2013

Tmobile prices are great and also great services i'm very happy with them so much more than i was before with verzion

14. TheRequiem

Posts: 245; Member since: Mar 23, 2012

Actually, Sprint and T-Mobile are the same... its just Phone Arena sometimes are out the loop and don't have the right info, which is dissapointing for a such a large Phone website... either way, it's $79.99 for Sprint's unlimited plan (if you just need 500 roaming or land line minutes and then unlimited everything else and after 7pm, besides who really calls land lines anymore? its unlimited mobile to mobile). Also Sprint's unlimited simpyl everything plan includes unlimited roaming and landline minutes (look at their website) and T-Mobile's $70 plan also includes limited minutes to landlines/ roaming as well.

37. skymitch89

Posts: 1452; Member since: Nov 05, 2010

Actually, Sprint doesn't have a $79.99 plan. It's a $69.99 plan (Everything Data 450) and if it's on a smartphone, there's an extra $10 fee for "premium" data. That plan only has 450 anytime minutes, unlimited data, unlimited calls to any mobile any time, unlimited nights from 7pm to 6:59am, and unlimited weekends. The $109.99 plan that Phone Arena is talking about is the Simply Everything plan that includes unlimited minutes at anytime.

50. TheRequiem

Posts: 245; Member since: Mar 23, 2012

Right, so 69.99 + 10.00 = 79.99... come on.

84. DonkeySauce

Posts: 194; Member since: Dec 03, 2011

Virtually noone needs the unlimited Simply everything plan. 9 out of 10 people on it use less than the 450 minutes anyway, so they'd be overpaying.

64. Lboogey6

Posts: 281; Member since: Jan 31, 2012

no do your research unlimited min for tmo n pa is wrong no matter how much you use its always unlimited if you add tethering its limited for tethering

19. alouden unregistered

Thanks for this. I am with Verizon and thinking of finally (after 10 years) to another carrier. I just worry about what I hear about coverage outside the major cities and on the interstates.

21. lovenyc8

Posts: 164; Member since: Mar 13, 2013

what city you live in? did you check the coverage for your city on there website? but still they will keep improving so soon more and more cities will be covered.

22. lovenyc8

Posts: 164; Member since: Mar 13, 2013

my area in New york its working amazing in all parts

34. Ruckus

Posts: 286; Member since: Oct 20, 2011

Actually T-Mobile customers may pay up to $240 more than Sprint customers! This leaves out the fact you must pay $20 extra per month of the handset your buying for 20 months on T-Mobile. Sprint for $79 has unlimited calls to any network in the US, unlimited text and unlimited data with 450 mins to landlines (who calls landlines that often? Lol). Ill give T-Mobile effort but in all reality they raised their prices :-/ On a side note I do enjoy the fact Sprint and T-Mobile have truly unlimited data. Hopefully both networks rise fast and force at&t and Verizon to follow along with unlimited data.

35. Commentator

Posts: 3723; Member since: Aug 16, 2011

My family uses that Sprint plan, and it only gets better when every extra phone after the second is only $20 extra/month each. Granted, you still have to add 4G fees, insurance, and tax, but even so, it's a far better deal than the ripoff that is the "Simply Everything" plan.

38. Ruckus

Posts: 286; Member since: Oct 20, 2011

I sell cell phones and no joke I switched a family of 5 from Verizon to Sprint. They all had "Droids" on Verizon and switched to Android devices on Sprint. With all the data they used on Verizon they were saving $190 a month on their bill by switching to Sprint!!!

39. skymitch89

Posts: 1452; Member since: Nov 05, 2010

You don't "have to" pay any extra per month for the phone if you already have your own phone or you buy the phone outright.

41. Ruckus

Posts: 286; Member since: Oct 20, 2011

@skymitch89 if your buying a phone outright then your definitely paying too much Hahaha.. let's say you buy a phone "outright" on T-Mobile and you stay on the $70 unlimited plan on T-Mobile then that would save you $240 in 2 years vs Sprint BUT! Say you want a $500+ phone (outright) then your still PAYING more than Sprint. I can debate this all day haha :) How is this positive for T-Mobile customers anyways?

70. PersianHobo

Posts: 73; Member since: Sep 29, 2012

*possibilities* 1. you're a troll 2. you epically failed math class, if you even know what the word itself even means either way I hope you're not American, how embarrassing.. T-mobile has gotten cheaper in price as well as adding more value for what you're paying for lord have mercy on you man.. I'm trying not to mean, but learn math and learn about the history before you say nonsense

71. PersianHobo

Posts: 73; Member since: Sep 29, 2012

*possibilities* 1. you're a troll 2. you epically failed math class, if you even know what the word itself even meanseither way I hope you're not American, how embarrassing.. T-mobile has gotten cheaper in price as well as adding more value for what you're paying forlord have mercy on you man.. I'm trying not to mean, but learn math and learn about the history before you say nonsense

74. Ruckus

Posts: 286; Member since: Oct 20, 2011

Ah Persianhobo you poor naive unintelligent buffoon. Apparently you failed math (and reading class) :) Ill try to "dumb" this down for you!! Here's why T-Mobile will become more expensive! With their old plans people signed a 24 month contract. Now they have a 20 month (contract) subscription with the purchase of a phone. With that new (contract) subscription CUSTOMERS MUST PAY $20 a month extra. Are you following me so far Persian?? So with the old plan (at $70/ month) in 2 years you'd pay $1,680 which is a great price no doubt. With the new plan (now at $90/ month (remember that extra $20per a month)) customers will now pay $2,160. Before you make fun of "Americans" or my "math" you'd better have the facts to back up your pathetic statement. In the words of Charlie Sheen.. WINNING!!!

76. PersianHobo

Posts: 73; Member since: Sep 29, 2012

what "old plans" are you referring to? FYI when t-mobile did subsidize phones, truly unlimited was 90+ tax... plus the out of pocket of the iPhone would be higher on the "old plans" customers are now saving an average of 200 plus dollars during a 24 month period including the phone of their choice, comparing the old plans vs the new. new plans, less out of pocket and less in the long run. FYI, I work at T-mobile... hence the pink in my photo

78. Ruckus

Posts: 286; Member since: Oct 20, 2011

Wow ironic I sell T-Mobile ;) Old plans = current plans with a 24 month contract. $70 a month for unlimited right? So it'd be $70 a month and you'd have to pay $200 for the iPhone right? Well now you'll pay $99.99 for an iPhone ($100 less) but now $20 a month more.. in just 5 months that $100 savings already washes. Your talking about "older" plans haha. If you wanna get technical I still remember statewide wireless plans O_o.. traveling fees were a *****.

82. g2a5b0e unregistered

That's where you're wrong. If you actually "sell T-Mobile" as you say, you would know that the old Classic plans T-Mobile had cost $20 more than the Value Plans did. It would be $90 a month, not $70. T-Mobile lowers the price on the Value Plans so you're still paying the same amount the with $20 EIP added in.

83. Ruckus

Posts: 286; Member since: Oct 20, 2011

Oh my freaking goodness!!! For the love of Pete! Read my whole freaking post. Im not explaining this again!!!!

87. bdavis022

Posts: 6; Member since: Mar 13, 2013

Its the no-contract plans people want. Personally I dont want to keep track of minutes regardless if I dont use that much. I just want to pay a flat fee for unlimited everything. Plain and simple. Family plans are even better with Tmobile; you pay 10 bucks for an additional line and that gets you unlimited talk, text, and 500mb of data. Before you had to pay extra for unlimited minutes.

51. Nadr1212

Posts: 741; Member since: Sep 22, 2012

This is insane!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! In a yr. or so, T-mo's gonna be a beast-ooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

13. bojan

Posts: 188; Member since: Oct 06, 2012

no he is right tmobile is the best give it a try & then talk dude. he is right more services like the HD Voice not on the 3 xed Companies

67. true1984

Posts: 865; Member since: May 23, 2012

But Sprint had HD voice since last year...

43. cjjohnson86

Posts: 29; Member since: Jan 05, 2012

It is an exciting time for T-mo subscribers :-)

46. dok2005

Posts: 55; Member since: Apr 18, 2012

thats not true. dont feed into the hype. first off lets start with the bill. its $90 a month not $70. That because the EIP. If we really was going by the best plan. then Sprint everything data plan would been chosen. giving that majority of people has cellphones. Which is only $80. sprint gives you truly unlimited data. tmobile slows data down after certain point. which i seen first hand its not cool. your phone be screaming 4g and doing less than edge. it doesnt cover as many people as the other 3 carriers. Yes tmobile change ETF to EIP. So when you do leave you still owe them. Wait that sounds like an ETF. Wait Sprint ETF goes down every month too. So if you leave sprint you just have to pay whats left on the ETF. I dont know which one sounds better to you. But Im just stating some Facts.

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