Analyst Says T-Mobile USA is iPhone's Next U.S. Home

By  |  Thursday, June 10, 2010 at 1:27 pm

Kaufman Brothers analyst Shaw Wu is made waves today by saying T-Mobile could be the next carrier in the U.S. to get the iPhone, saying that the changes to the iPhone necessary would be much less since it operates on the same technology (GSM) as current exclusive carrier AT&T.

The statement goes against the prevailing wisdom that Apple would turn to Verizon to continue expanding availability of the device. AT&T operates its 3G network in the 1900MHz band, whereas T-Mobile uses the 1700/2100MHz band. Both use the 850MHz band, meaning Apple would only need to add a single band (1700MHz) to make 3G work fully. iPhone 4 and the 3GS have already added the 2100MHz band.

With 34 million subscribers, T-Mobile would provide a significant new market for Apple. Add to this that the Cupertino company already offers the iPhone on T-Mobile’s European carriers and such a partnership is not too far fetched. Wu says that the phone could arrive as early as this fall.

Representatives with T-Mobile said that while they would love to carry the device, “ultimately it is Apple’s decision,” and refused to comment further on any speculation.

Personally, while I think it’s the logical thing to do, I don’t think its the best idea from a business sense. Verizon has some 93 million customers, which would obviously mean a much larger potential market for Apple. Spending money on development of a CDMA-capable device may not be such a bad idea.

Either way, we seem to go through this every so many months lately so I’m not expecting the iPhone to go anywhere until Apple says it will. And from all the statements — and its actions too- it appears Apple is still happy to be with AT&T.

[Hat tip: Associated Press]


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10 Comments For This Post

  1. Vulpine Says:

    Well, logically, if T-Mobile uses the Micro Sim card, you can start using them as soon as you pick up your iPhone4, no?

  2. Paul Judd Says:

    Vulpine, that would only work if the iPhone was sold unlocked – something that does not happen in the US as of now.

  3. shawn Says:

    well…at least, once you go home and spirit it away.

    does 3g network work on a 3gs, btw, and if it does, will an i4? saw that the 3gs has radio for t-mo 3g bands…I know w/ my 3g, you’d have to rely on edge speeds if you unlocked…

  4. Hamranhansenhansen Says:

    > Spending money on development of a CDMA-capable device
    > may not be such a bad idea.

    Verizon is already building a GSM 4G LTE network. It will be as big as Sprint’s faux-4G network is right now at the end of 2010. Verizon themselves would probably not want a CDMA iPhone at this point because it would mean they’d have to build out more CDMA capacity.

    A Verizon CDMA phone would run only on Verizon. It’s not nearly as good as launching on Verizon with a GSM 4G phone Apple can sell around the world as well. 2/3rds of Apple’s sales are outside the US.

    Apple offered Verizon the iPhone in 2006. They said no, and Apple had to be patient with a GSM 2G phone while AT&T built a GSM 3G network specifically for iPhone. I think we are seeing a repeat of that now. Verizon is building a GSM 4G network and there will likely be a big iPhone 4G launch on Verizon. AT&T is staying with 3.5G for a while, so it’s a chance to do a huge Verizon/iPhone 4G launch.

    > that would only work if the iPhone was sold unlocked – something that does
    > not happen in the US as of now.

    You can get them unlocked, just not from AT&T or Apple. There are plenty of iPhones on T-Mobile in the US right now.

    Here is an unlocked 3GS at Tiger Direct:

    T-Mobile doesn’t use the standard GSM frequencies in the US, so typically when you put a standard phone like iPhone on there it runs 2G only. If you want 3G for sure you should verify it works first. iOS v4 may cause the T-Mobile band to work if it isn’t already.

  5. Hamranhansenhansen Says:

    > if T-Mobile uses the Micro Sim

    You can cut a full-size SIM down to a micro-SIM. There is a tool specifically for that which makes it very easy to do. SIM trimmer, something like that. A micro-SIM is just a SIM with the edges cut off to make it smaller.

  6. Leslie Says:

    I thought they would change carriers with the recent alleged breach in privacy with AT&T. I guess not.

  7. strongfist Says:

    Hey i just read this article about an Apple Fan Boy who decided to give Android a try. He has given his iPhone 3G up for thirty days and decided to spend it with the HTC EVO 4G.

    If there are any Android haters who has an iPhone, I think you owe to your selves to read the article. Its pretty fair and im an advent Android user.

    You can view the article here:

  8. shahid Says:

    nice web. I have seen that website also, You will find some cheap and good accessories from there.

  9. Robert Ivor Spokes Says:

    This will be a huge relief to iPhone users who are disappointed with AT&T's service which in my experience is most of them. While I know AT&T has been struggling to improve their networks nationwide I think this might be the defining moment for them. If iPhone users evacuate their service in droves it should make for a sudden drop in the company's overall market value.

  10. die steel Says:

    Very happy to see your article, I very much to like and agree with your point of view.

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