By Alexandra Burlacu | Apr 13, 2013 11:25 AM EDT
T-Mobile finally kicked off sales of the iPhone 5, marking the carrier is offering an Apple smartphone, and the demand was palpable.
The nation's fourth largest carrier started selling the iPhone 5 from $99 under its new Uncarrier plans, and the offer drew quite some crowds lining up to get the latest and best-selling smartphone from the Cupertino giant.
There's no telling how long the miracle will last for T-Mobile, but on Friday morning, April 12, the pent-up demand was visible as the carrier started selling the iPhone 5. People actually stood in line outside T-Mobile USA stores, and that's not something you see every day.
While the lines were not crazy long and they mostly dissipated by noon, the occurrence does say a lot about the magic of Apple smartphones. T-Mobile's iPhone 5 launch proves that customers are still willing to line up to buy the newest iPhone, although the handset launched nearly eight months ago.
On the other hand, it does not come as much of a surprise. T-Mobile is the nation's fourth largest carrier with roughly 34 million customers on contracts, and until now it was the only major U.S. carrier without a contract with Apple to carry the iPhone.
Finally selling the iPhone is no minor thing, and T-Mobile made sure to make the most of the occasion. The carrier moved to undercut its rivals on price by selling the popular iPhone 5 for $99.99 down and $20 per month for two years, amounting to a total of $580. T-Mobile also extended its trade-in program to include the iPhone, which means that customers can trade in their old iPhones and bring the upfront cost of the iPhone 5 to $0. This offer stands until Father's Day.
In a bid to get the word out and make sure that everyone knows about the big event, T-Mobile is also running ads for its "un-leash" unlocked iPhone scheme on radio, TV and YouTube.
"It's the phone that revolutionized phones, make sure it's on the carrier that revolutionized wireless," touts one video advertising the T-Mobile iPhone 5. The company is clearly excited to finally offer the iPhone, and the lines at the nearly 3,000 T-Mobile stores nationwide prove that it was long overdue.
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