Today T-Mobile announced that it will begin selling the iPhone 5, which is nice for T-Mobile customers, because that is a nice phone. But what's more interesting is the new "Uncarrier" plan, whereby T-Mobile is attempting to shake up how Americans buy smartphones.
The Uncarrier plan is a half-step towards contract-free plans. You aren't roped into a contract, as you are with other carriers. Instead, you buy a phone at full price (or pay it off incrementally) and thus get a (slightly) cheaper monthly bill. It isn't enough; American smartphone plans are still pretty bad. But at least it's movement towards something a little more transparent and consumer-focused.