As expected, T-Mobile USA began taking pre-orders for Apple’s iPhone 5 on Friday as the company gears up to release the bestselling smartphone on April 12.

The T-Mobile iPhone 5, according to the company’s new “Simple Choice Plan” unveiled in March, will cost $99 up front for 16 GB of space, plus $50 per month for unlimited talk, text and Web with 500 MB of 4G data; users can purchase an iPhone 5 with 32 GB for $199, and 64 GB for $299.

T-Mobile boasts that compared to a 24-month plan from AT&T, consumers will pay $1,000 less for their iPhone 5 by choosing T-Mobile, but a contradictory report from Zagg’s Mike Beauchamp, who did some independent number crunching of his own, found the T-Mobile iPhone 5 is a money-saver for individuals, but it’s not a cheaper option for phone plans involving two or more people.

Individuals in the market for a new phone will want to consider T-Mobile’s iPhone 5. To own a 16 GB iPhone 5 for two years, the individual will pay $2,839.99 regardless if he or she purchases the iPhone 5 on AT&T, Verizon Wireless or Sprint. For T-Mobile, however, owning a 16 GB iPhone 5 costs only $2,259.99 – a total savings of $580.

Unfortunately, the huge savings with T-Mobile ends at individual plans. As the Verge points out, a plan with two people costs customers $3,999.98 over two years on either AT&T or Verizon Wireless, but a very steep $5,439.50 for choosing Sprint, which offers unlimited data but no hotspot. T-Mobile, on the other hand, would charge $4,039.99 over those two years, and that plan includes unlimited data and 500 MB of hotspot. In other words, T-Mobile may have the best unlimited plan for parties of two people, but they can save $40 by sticking with AT&T or Verizon Wireless.

For a plan with a family of four, AT&T and Verizon customers would pay exactly $6,139.96 over two years, while Sprint customers pay a whopping $10,639 over that same span. T-Mobile customers who buy the iPhone 5 can expect to pay $6,639.96 over two years for a family of four -- $500 more than comparable plans from AT&T or Verizon Wireless, which don’t include unlimited data.

In other words, T-Mobile is easily the best option for individual customers looking to buy the iPhone 5, but for plans involving two or more, T-Mobile is slightly more expensive than AT&T and Verizon Wireless. And they are all vastly cheaper than Sprint’s unlimited data plans.

But besides being the only carrier to sell the iPhone 5 with no annual contract plus unlimited talk, text and Web, T-Mobile customers who purchase the iPhone 5 will also receive a number of “premium benefits,” including 500 MB of 4G data for hotspot tethering, the ability to talk and surf the Web at the same time without limits, and HD Voice for “significantly reduced background noise” and crystal clear phone calls.

“These bold moves serve notice that T-Mobile is canceling its membership in the out-of-touch wireless club,” John Legere, president and CEO of T-Mobile USA, told the crowd at the company's "Uncarrier" event in March. “This is an industry filled with ridiculously confusing contracts, limits on how much data you can use or when you can upgrade, and monthly bills that make little sense. As America’s Un-carrier, we are changing all of that and bringing common sense to wireless.”

Will you purchase a new phone on T-Mobile’s “Simple Choice” plan? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.