T-Mobile’s iPhone 5 pre-orders kick off today for $100

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T-Mobile iPhone 5

Good news, T-Mobile fans: You can finally preorder the iPhone 5 today.

As the carrier announced a few weeks ago in New York, the T-Mobile iPhone 5 starts at just $100 for the 16 gigabyte model. That’s $100 cheaper than what other U.S. carriers charge for a new iPhone.

Given T-Mobile’s new no-contract focus, you have the option of either paying for the iPhone for $20 a month over 24 months, or just paying $579 up front. T-Mobile’s new plans start at just $50 for unlimited talk, text, and 500 megabytes of high-speed data. You can add an extra 2GB of fast data for $10 more a month, or go fully unlimited for $20. (T-Mobile can still say it offers fully unlimited data for $50 — once you reach your high-speed data limit, your phone slows down to slower EDGE network speeds.)

As we saw at T-Mobile’s event, the iPhone 5 performs about as fast on its LTE network as on other U.S. 4G networks. T-Mobile’s iPhone 5 has a unique advantage over its competitors, though: It supports HSPA+ 42Mbps networks, which T-Mobile has widely deployed throughout the U.S. That gives T-Mobile a fast secondary network outside of LTE. AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint, on the other hand, have much slower networks outside of LTE.

Photo: Devindra Hardawar/VentureBeat