T-Mobile Cleared To Launch Naked iPhone 5

The Federal Communications Commission has cleared Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone 5 for service with its newest team, T-Mobile. The new A1428 iPhone 5 has been left untouched cosmetically, and has been cleared for advanced wireless services support, or AWS.

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Although the A1428 number is shared with the iPhone 5 available on AT&T (NYSE:T), T-Mobile’s iPhone 5 will support HSPA+ on AWS bandwidths, a feature not activated in Apple’s existing handsets, according to AppleInsider. The smartphone supposedly come modified straight from the factory, meaning AT&T iPhone 5 owners are unable to activate AWS capabilities with a firmware update. Apple has addressed this, and said it will issue an updated iPhone 5 that will support the AWS feature.

Apple representatives confirmed to Engadget that enabling AWS is done at the hardware level,and is not something that can be done by software patch or download.

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T-Mobile is the fourth largest carrier in the United States, behind Verizon (NYSE:VZ), AT&T, and Sprint (NYSE:S). It is also the last of the four to have the iPhone approved for its network. T-Mobile is taking a different approach over its competitors, too — the iPhone 5 will be naked, stripped of its subsidy and contract obligations, with $99 due up front and $20 installments for the 20 months following.

If you have T-Mobile, you can grab your iPhone 5 in stores on April 12th, or in a pre-sale that begins on April 5th.

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