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Why I’m Buying a T-Mobile iPhone 5S



From the moment users found out that the iPhone 5C and iPhone 5S were on their way, many would-be buyers have asked the same questions over and over: is the iPhone 5S worth it, and have the changes that Apple made to the iOS 7 operating system and the iPhone made it compelling? I can’t answer those questions for everyone, but personally I’m buying an iPhone 5S on T-Mobile and here’s why.

The iPhone 5S itself

As devices like the HTC One and Lumia 925 demonstrate, other smartphone manufacturers are starting to catch on to Apple’s hardware philosophies. More and more, devices are shipping with robust metal enclosures and well-designed proportions. Unfortunately, none of them deliver industrial design like Apple, and Apple has managed to impress with the iPhone 5 last year. Since the iPhone 5S borrows all of that device’s looks, Apple’s latest and greatest is still the best looking high-end phone users can purchase today. At least, in my opinion.


The iPhone 5S display may feature new tech, but will likely stay at 4-inches.

The Apple iPhone 5S is just a great smartphone.

Read: iPhone 5S Revealed


Having been a T-Mobile customer for three years, following a long sordid affair with both Sprint & AT&T, I won’t be switching to pick up the iPhone 5S when it debuts. Although its network gets particularly questionable in some specific places I frequent, T-Mobile’s  Wi-Fi calling features have made me a fan for life.

The company’s new foray into allowing users to purchase devices separate from their service plan aren’t hurting their reputation with me either. Although I could start a new line and pay for my device in installments or join T-Mobile’s JUMP program, I won’t be doing either. The carrier’s monthly pricing for wireless services is comparatively low, however things start to add up when you pile on the $10 for Jump plus monthly payments as part of the carrier’s new device purchase plan. I’ll be buying my iPhone 5S unlocked.

iOS 7

I’m not that guy who looks forward to getting an operating system like Android and seeing how many things I can change. I prefer to not be in the driver’s seat of my operating system experience. For me, and I suspect many other users, an operating system should just work. As long as the app icons look fine, the visual effects aren’t too distracting, and everything works like it should, then I’m fine. iOS 7 delivers and it actually looks great visually. As a long-time Windows Phone user, I can’t argue with design and simplicity of use.

Read: iOS 7 Release Date: What to Expect

I won’t pretend that iOS 7’s app collection doesn’t have me excited either. After months with Android and iOS, there’s simply no way around the fact that iOS seems to have decent versions of every application.

Simply put, iOS 7, the iPhone 5S hardware design and T-Mobile’s offerings make the iPhone 5S a device that users — particularly me — will love. Right now I’m still unsure about coloring and storage size, but outside of those two areas I’m excited.

The iPhone 5S launches in just a few short weeks. I’ll be in line at my local T-Mobile retail store, and I’m willing to bet that I’ll have company.



  1. Mark

    09/10/2013 at 11:51 am

    “T-Mobile’s Wi-Fi calling features have made me a fan for life.” That’s nice but it’s not available on the iPhone 5. Are you implying that you have confirmation that it is available on the 5s? You might want to check that out before you plunk down your money for a new phone that may not allow you to use a feature that has made you a fan for life.

  2. ukandroid

    09/10/2013 at 11:57 am

    At $99 on contract starting price the C probably means that it is for children who like garish colours mixtures!

  3. unbelieverjb

    09/10/2013 at 4:06 pm

    “I won’t pretend that iOS 7’s app collection doesn’t have me excited either. After months with Android and iOS, there’s simply no way around the fact that iOS seems to have decent versions of every application.”

    To each his own I guess, but I’m counting the days until I can go back to Android. I got an iPhone 5 in January, and yes, it works, but it’s lacking so many things that I took for granted on an Android platform that it’s sad.

    • Do fo

      09/11/2013 at 9:39 am

      What features?

  4. rich

    09/11/2013 at 9:52 am

    “For me, and I suspect many other users, an operating system should just work.”

    -because Android and Windows doesn’t work??

    • Travis Pope

      09/12/2013 at 12:18 pm

      They do, but sometimes this experience isn’t as robust and seamless and you would expect.

  5. Chase Masters

    09/11/2013 at 10:12 am

    One would expect an article from a reputable source and contributor, even titled “why I am buying …..” would contain insight possibly overlooked by some mainstream consumers. After reading the article I found nothing distinguishable or useful that I couldn’t read from a person posting a comment on a tech blog.

    Glad you found what you are looking for. So now my “buy” opinion: compared to the innovation ushered in by the competition, HTC One included, the 5S landed with a flop. For a company that made the “smartphone” a household word many expected an improvement from the iPhone 5 which also was found mediocre by many beyond the “empty box” camp out faithful. today Apple has mostly fallen asleep while the rest have moved well ahead. As noted Apple “taught” people a smartphone can be very useful. And now those “teenagers” have grown too big for their playpens. Apple’s competitors now fulfill their needs with far more choices and options all without the simplicity gone draconian, iTunes.

    TMobile service is adequate for people that rarely travel or stay in larger cities. But like everything else you get what you pay for. Start driving out of a city and into rural areas away from the major interstate highways and you’ll discover quickly why Tmobile is very different from the big boys.

  6. Jeff

    09/12/2013 at 12:37 am

    No response on tmobile wifi calling on the iphone? It is what I holding me back from purchasing the iphone on tmobile, but happy to know a writer for a cell phone website doesn’t know this and us average consumers do? What’s dumb founding is no response from the author when a mistake was clearly made? Come on Travis, what’s the word? You going to man up and reply with an apology for making a clear mistake, or is there something you know?

    • Travis Pope

      09/12/2013 at 12:19 pm

      Hi Jeff, that was a mistake on my part.

      • Robin

        09/15/2013 at 10:18 am

        maybe you should edit your original post to make it clear that the “it just works” iOS7 doesn’t just work when it comes to wifi calling.

    • john leadsman

      09/14/2013 at 5:05 pm

      Unless your some sort of mystical perfect deity that has mastered the crude art of internet trolling, I would think that you also make mistakes.

  7. Bubba Jones

    12/10/2013 at 2:12 pm

    The following information came from two different T-Moble stores, and calling their customer support line.

    T-Mobile informed me there are only a few phones that do WiFi calling. It is phones that contain their WiFi calling chip. They said that excludes most all phones, all iOS devices, and and most all Android devices. When one wants WiFi calling they must ask if the desired phone has that chip.

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