[UPDATE: Math + Monday = Hard] NanoSIM cards spotted in T-Mobile stores, save 50% on your iPhone 5!

Leave it to TmoNews to receive first reports of anything T-Mobile. David Beren of TmoNews has received information that points to NanoSIM cards (the new form factor for SIM cards used in the iPhone 5) arriving in select T-Mobile stores. It’s unknown yet when these SIM cards will be available for direct use or when they’ll be available to other prepaid MVNOs, but that they’re available at all is great news for Apple users looking to switch to prepaid.

Unlocked iPhones are compatible with T-Mobile’s network today (regardless of place of purchase), and support will only increase as T-Mobile continues to refarm their network to support HSPA+ on the 1900 MHz band, the frequency utilized by AT&T for high-speed 4G access.

Total Cost of Ownership Analysis (Spoiler: Save 50%!)

To recap, let’s do a quick examination of the long-term cost:benefit of purchasing your new iPhone 5 at full price and using a prepaid carrier as opposed to buying one discounted from the carrier.

According to Gotta Be Mobile, after November 8th, the 32 GB iPhone 5 will be available at a full retail price of $549 without a contract. Purchasing before that date is $200 more for an off-contract price of $749. The 16 GB and 64 GB versions are also available for +/- $100, equaling $449 and $649 (after November 8) respectively. For the purposes of this example, I’ll use the $549 32 GB option purchased after November 8.

Update: Due to Monday brain fog, I somehow decided that there were 24 months in a year for a total of a 48 month contract term. Fixed.

iPhone 5 TCO comparison
Verizon Wireless  AT&T  Straight Talk  Solavei
iPhone 5 (32 GB) Price $299 $299 $549 $549
Monthly Service Rate $100 $120 $45 $49
Data Allotment 2 GB 3 GB 2 GB 4 GB
Total Cost of Ownership $2699 $3179 $1629 $1745

The above examples were taken with real monthly rate plan pricing as of this post. All plans include unlimited talk and text. Activation fees and taxes were not included. As you can see, the total cost of ownership for a single iPhone 5 is drastically lower when buying it at full retail price and signing up with a prepaid service provider. In the case of AT&T, the total cost of ownership is literally more than nearly double! In other words, for the cost of a single iPhone 5 on contract with AT&T, you could get two iPhone 5s at full retail price with individual prepaid plans and still save money. With those savings, it’s even financially beneficial to pay a large Early Termination Fee.

Are any of you waiting (im)patiently for these NanoSIM cards to be available to cheaply upgrade to the iPhone 5?

via T-Mobile Stores Begin Receiving NanoSIM Cards For iPhone 5 Activation | | TmoNews.

I’m just one guy on the internet who’s come about this knowledge of prepaid phone plans from various sources and become empassioned enough about it that I feel like it should be shared with everyone in one easy to find place. It is my goal to provide you with the information and the tools you need to make an informed decision in the easiest way possible. IF you find my information helpful and you make the switch to a prepaid phone plan, I do have referral links which throw a monetary kickback in my direction if you sign up, and I’d appreciate if you use them – but if you don’t, that’s fine too. My goal is education, not monetization. There are no lies, no marketing spin, no abstractions of the truth, and no fine print to be found here.

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About Aaron Burke

I’m just one guy on the internet who’s come about this knowledge of prepaid phone plans from various sources and become empassioned enough about it that I feel like it should be shared with everyone in one easy to find place. It is my goal to provide you with the information and the tools you need to make an informed decision in the easiest way possible. IF you find my information helpful and you make the switch to a prepaid phone plan, I do have referral links which throw a monetary kickback in my direction if you sign up, and I’d appreciate if you use them – but if you don’t, that’s fine too. My goal is education, not monetization. There are no lies, no marketing spin, no abstractions of the truth, and no fine print to be found here.
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5 Responses to [UPDATE: Math + Monday = Hard] NanoSIM cards spotted in T-Mobile stores, save 50% on your iPhone 5!

  1. Pingback: Cheaper iPhone 5 Equals More Expensive...Way More Expensive | SolaveiSolavei

  2. Jakob says:

    Do these plans include unlimited data as those of us grandfathered into AT&T have?

    • Aaron Burke says:

      It depends on your provider. Straight Talk is technically “unlimited”, but they *do* throttle you to 2G speeds if you exceed what they think is excessive usage. Their definition of excessive usage isn’t clearly defined though, and I suspect that’s because it’s a moving target depending on daily network congestion. The consensus around the community seems to think that anything over 100 MB of streaming in a day or 2 GB per month will trigger a warning though, and that “feels” about right. Solavei isn’t unlimited, but 4 GB is a *lot* of mobile data.

      Lots of people are hung up on the unlimited term, but very few people actually realize how little data they use. Have you looked at your monthly usage? Does that “unlimited” package even include 4G speeds? It may be unlimited, but only at 3G speeds. I’m a fairly moderately heavy data user (I’m constantly browsing the web for two hours a day on my bus commute to/from work), and I very rarely stream audio or video, and I average 1.1 GB per month. If you DO use your data excessively, is it mostly in an area where you could be using wifi instead, but you simply don’t turn the wifi on?

  3. Jorge says:

    if i buy the nano sim card with it be able to work on metro pcs now that, it has merged witth t mobile?

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