iPhone 5 cost comparison: $649 from Apple, $579 from T-Mobile

A big part of T-Mobile's UnCarrier plan revolves around the iPhone 5, and it turns out that T-Mo's offering the Apple flagship at a previously unheard-of price: $579. As CEO John Legere announced today, his company will be offering its AWS-equipped version of the iPhone 5 for $99, plus 24 monthly payments of $20. That's contract-free, but the device is locked until it's fully paid for, and the cheapest monthly plan to go with it is $50 for 500MB of data and unlimited voice and texting a month. By contrast, the same 16GB phone unlocked direct from Apple costs $649, while AT&T offers a locked model for $199 -- if you sign a 24-month contract -- and the cheapest possible plan to go with it provides a mere 300MB of data, 450 minutes and no texting at a cost of $60 a month. So, T-Mo seems to be winning the iPhone price war, and doing so handily.