T-Mobile USA to sell iPhone 5 starting April 12

NEW YORK, March 26 Tue Mar 26, 2013 12:00pm EDT

NEW YORK, March 26 (Reuters) - T-Mobile USA, a unit of Deutsche Telekom AG, on Tuesday announced it would start selling Apple Inc's iPhone 5 on April 12 for an upfront payment of $99.99 followed by 24 monthly payments of $20.

The No. 4 U.S. mobile provider, which plans to merge with smaller rival MetroPCS Communications, announced its plan to sell the device on the same day that it held an event to present its broader plans for service plans without device subsidies.

It hopes the iPhone and the new service plans will fend off competition from bigger rivals Sprint Nextel, AT&T Inc and Verizon Wireless, a venture of Verizon Communications and Vodafone Group Plc, after years of contract customer losses.