5 million people in at least 9 countries took home a new iPhone 5 this weekend, breaking the weekend launch record set last year by the iPhone 4S. The latest iPhone went on sale Friday in the US, the UK, Canada, Germany, France, Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Japan. Reports of black market iPhone 5s in China surfaced within just a few hours of the Friday launch.
By now, most Apple stores and carrier retail stores in the United States are sold out of the iPhone 5. AT&T, Verizon Wireless, and Sprint are taking pre-orders on their websites, and expect to ship the phones next month.
T-Mobile, the only one of the nation’s top four carriers not offering the new iPhone, has launched a bid to win business from customers willing to unlock their iPhones in exchange for more affordable high-speed data. The carrier announced service Friday on its HSPA+ network in Las Vegas, which also happens to be the site of the Competitive Carriers’ Association’s annual convention, which starts today. T-Mobile joined the Competitive Carriers’ Association earlier this year.
T-Mobile’s HSPA network uses frequencies in the 1900 MHz band. The company says the phones like the iPhone 5 can download 8 – 10 million bits per second, making it roughly as fast on T-Mobile’s network as on an LTE network. And unlike its bigger rivals, T-Mobile apparently remains committed to unlimited data plans, at least for now.
T-Mobile is showing off iPhones in its retail stores, even though customers cannot buy one from the carrier. They can, however, buy an iPhone SIM card from T-Mobile, for use in an unlocked iPhone.
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