published Tuesday, May 14th, 2013

Business Briefs: T-Mobile boosts iPhone price

T-Mobile
T-Mobile
Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

T-Mobile boosts iPhone price

T-Mobile has quietly increased its price of the iPhone 5 by $50, raising the down payment to $149.99. The Seattle-based carrier began selling the phone last month at $99.99 plus 24 payments of $20, for a total cost of $579.99, but now, T-Mobile is saying the initial $99.99 down payment was a promotional price that ended Sunday.

"We all know promotions are temporary," T-Mobile said in a statement.

AT&T, Verizon and Sprint charge $199 for the iPhone 5 with a two-year service contract.

T-Mobile said the full price for the iPhone 5, now at $629.99, is still lower than purchasing an unlocked iPhone 5, which typically costs $650.

Retail sales rise in April

Lower-priced gas allowed Americans to step up their spending at retailers in April, from cars and clothes to electronics and appliances. The rebound from a weak March suggests consumers remain resilient in the face of higher taxes and could continue to drive economic growth this spring. Retail sales edged up 0.1 percent in April, the Commerce Department said Monday. That's an improvement from a 0.5 percent decline in March, the largest drop in nine months.

The April gain was stronger when taking out the effect of lower gas prices, which reduced sales at gas stations 4.7 percent. The retail sales report is not adjusted for price changes.

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