Analyst: iPhone Finally Coming to T-Mobile Next Week

| Rumor

T-Mobile Apple iPhone Deal

T-Mobile, the lone U.S. national carrier to not officially carry Apple’s iPhone, may finally announce a deal with the Cupertino company next week, according to Merrill Lynch analyst Scott Craig, as reported by Fortune. Mr. Craig told investors Thursday that “speculation is heightening” for a deal between Apple and Deutsche Telecom, T-Mobile’s parent company, to bring the iPhone to the carrier’s 33 million U.S. customers.

The news of an impeding deal comes just one week after T-Mobile COO Jim Alling seemed to downplay the prospects of a T-Mobile iPhone. “Make no mistake about it: We would love to carry the iPhone,” he said at the 12th Annual Technology, Media & Telecoms Conference in Barcelona. “However, we want the economies to be right for us.”

Despite his pessimistic outlook on bringing the iPhone to the carrier, Mr. Alling did admit that the phone’s absence was costing T-Mobile customers. “We recognize that it has been a point of churn for us,” he acknowledged.

A deal to bring the iPhone to T-Mobile, which has struggled heavily in recent years and was prevented by the U.S. Department of Justice from merging with AT&T in 2011, would be good for both companies. T-Mobile would be position to hold its current customers, gain back old customers who left because of the iPhone but prefer T-Mobile’s service in their geographic area, and offer an incentive to the incoming MetroPCS customer base, which will join T-Mobile after the two companies announced a merger in early October.

On the other side of the deal, Apple would find its flagship product available on every major national carrier for the first time. Should the deal go through, Mr. Craig calculates that Apple would then have access to 98 percent of the U.S. post-paid mobile market and 75 percent of the country’s total mobile subscribers.

Although a large symbolic milestone for Apple, its deal with T-Mobile will likely be of limited financial value, Mr. Craig argues, with a T-Mobile deal adding about 4 million iPhone shipments to the total of 179 million estimated for calendar year 2013, boosting revenue by about 1 percent and earnings per share by about 2 percent.

Many customers did not have the patience to wait for an official deal. Over 1.5 million T-Mobile subscribers currently use an unlocked iPhone on the carrier’s GSM network. With the iPhone 5 and new iPads moving to LTE networks, however, T-Mobile is slowly preparing an LTE rollout of its own, although it lags far behind competitors AT&T and Verizon, which already have extensive LTE coverage. The carrier is on track to launch LTE in the second half of 2013 which will allow its existing network and that of MetroPCS to merge going forward.

Any announcement regarding a T-Mobile iPhone deal is expected to come next Thursday or Friday.

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3 Comments

mrmwebmax

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My first cell phone was a Samsung on T-Mobile. Not sure if it’s because of where I live, but the service was just terrible. I’d lose the signal at least four times on my 20-minute drive to work, which was/is, admittedly, through fairly rural western PA with the hills that (literally) come with the territory.

Moved on to a Samsung flip-phone on Verizon, then a rock-solid tank of an LG flip-phone on Verizon, which I just loved. Yet despite Verizon having stores everywhere in my aea, I consistently dropped calls walking from my living room into my kitchen.

Moved onto AT&T and the iPhone 3, now still on AT&T with the 4S. I know mine’s the unusual experience, but I have far better service on AT&T than Verizon, with rarely a dropped call and fine voice quality. There have been a few times when the data network dropped, but that seems to have been just a few isolated cases.

Here’s hoping for Apple and T-Mobile fans that their coverage is greatly improved form when I used them.

Terrin

I have T-Mobile in Ann Arbor. My buddy always sells me his last year model AT&T iPhone, which I unlock and use on T-Mobile. Where I live, T-Mobile’s call quality is probably better than AT&T. My buddy and I always do comparisons. His iPhone on AT&T drops the call more.

T-Mobile also has better call quality in the Metro Detroit area. T-Mobile has a T-Mobile tower app. I find it interesting to see where its towers are.

So, I think the issue you raise is largely dependent on where you live. All carriers stink, but in my mind T-Mobile’s plans are the best. I have two people on an all you can eat plan for less than what it would cost me to have one person on AT&T. Further, AT&T doesn’t offer unlimited data like T-obiles does.

I was very happy when AT&T lost its bid to acquire T-Mobile. It’s data speed for non-iphones is very fast. For my iPhone it is acceptable for what I use it for: email, surfing the web, and Pandora. 

T-Mobile, however, hasn’t rolled out LTE yet. This is why AT&T had to pay T-Mobile a huge penalty when the deal fell apart because both parties knew the year T-Mobile waited for regulatory approval, was a year it would fall behind in building out its network and a year in which it would bleed more customers.

I also like how T-Mobil’s plans work. It has a regular subsidized plan. It also has value plans that are cheaper, where on top of that price T-Mobile will buy a phone for you and you will pay it back (e.g. $199 down and $20 a month). When the phone is paid off, your plan rate drops back down.

Steve

I am unsing locked iphone right now. I am interested on your product can we take from online mobile shopping. If available, how can i get this one.

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