T-Mobile lifts the wool off our eyes, raises iPhone 5 down-payment price

The T-Mobile iPhone 5 came out a month ago, but America's Un-carrier is celebrating the anniversary in an Un-usual way - it's raising the Apple device's down payment price.

"Well-qualified customers, on approved credit, can still buy iPhone 5 from T-Mobile for $149.99 down starting Monday, May 13," a T-Mobile spokesperson told TechRadar.

"That's easily the most affordable iPhone 5 price on the market today."

While all of that is true, early adopters of the long-awaited HSPA+ equipped smartphone were able to pay only $99 down and $20 per month over two years for the iPhone 5.

Now, at $150 up front, it's only $50 cheaper than the down payment required by contract carriers AT&T, Verizon and Sprint.

T-Mobile iPhone 5 plans the same

The good news is that while T-Mobile wants an additional $50 for the iPhone 5 starting today, the monthly payment plans remain $20 per month for the duration of 24 months.

That means it's still cheaper to have a no-contract plan for T-Mobile iPhone 5 vs AT&T, Verizon and Sprint plans.

Whether or not that customers are fully aware of the binding T-Mobile contract remains up for debate.

Offsetting the iPhone cost

It's also still possible to get a free T-Mobile iPhone 5, according to the self-described Un-carrier.

"Customers can also bring in their old iPhone 4S or iPhone 4 through Father's Day (June 16)," mentioned the T-Mobile spokesperson.

"[They can] get an iPhone 5 for $0 down plus monthly payments through our special device trade-in offer."

While unfortunate news for prospective T-Mobile iPhone 5 customers, the fourth-place carrier's early adopters, for once, should feel as if they have gotten a good deal.

Matt Swider