Analyst: T-Mobile Next in Line for U.S. iPhone

| Apple Stock Watch

AT&T’s deal as the exclusive iPhone carrier in the U.S. could come to an end as early as this fall, and Kaufman Bros. analyst Shaw Wu thinks Apple’s second partner could be T-Mobile. In contrast, most analysts have been predicting Apple would team up with Verizon since it’s the largest U.S. cell service provider.

According to Mr. Wu, Apple would have an easier time bringing T-Mobile on board because the iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4 both support the 2100MHz frequency the carrier uses as well as the 850MHZ and 1900MHz frequencies AT&T operates on.

He also noted that both AT&T and T-Mobile use GSM technologies, where Verizon and Sprint rely on CDMA. Since the technologies aren’t directly compatible, Apple would be forced to build a special version of the iPhone just for Verizon’s network, which the company isn’t likely to do.

Mr. Wu also claimed bringing a new iPhone partner on board would help Apple keep its lead over Google’s Android in the smartphone market.

Apple’s new iPhone 4 is set to go on sale on June 24 in several countries. Apple will begin accepting pre-orders on June 15.

Mr. Wu is maintaining his “Buy” rating and US$320 target price for Apple’s stock. Apple is currently trading at $244.64, up 1.44 (0.59%).

[Thanks to Fortune for the heads up.]

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Comments

Garion

Since the technologies aren?t directly compatible, Apple would be forced to build a special version of the iPhone just for Verizon?s network, which the company isn?t likely to do.

Oh really? Well if Apple wants to get the iPhone on Verizons network I’d say they are pretty damn likely to make a CDMA version of it. Otherwise it wouldn’t, you know ... work.

dhp

Oh really? Well if Apple wants to get the iPhone on Verizons network I?d say they are pretty damn likely to make a CDMA version of it. Otherwise it wouldn?t, you know ... work.

Huh? That’s exactly Wu’s point: he doesn’t think Apple is that motivated to get on Verizon’s network - not enough to make a special iPhone.

grshaner

As a FORMER AT&T customer and a CURRENT, LONG TIME T-Mobile customer, all I can say is . . .

PLEASE, Oh please, oh please, oh please let it be true!!!!

WaltFrench

AT&T?s deal as the exclusive iPhone carrier in the U.S. could come to an end as early as this fall?

Yeah, I could get the Nobel Peace Prize next year, too. What new information leads Mr. Wu to put his rather repetitive and low-accuracy predictions before us this time?

RonMacGuy

Funny thing is, it is hardly creating a “special” iPhone.  Isn’t it basically a replacement of a small IC and maybe some different IO in the existing iPhone?  Probably a piece of cake.  And I thought I heard earlier that they were working that way anyway to support China which uses similar network technology as Verizon.

Lee Dronick

Funny thing is, it is hardly creating a ?special? iPhone.? Isn?t it basically a replacement of a small IC and maybe some different IO in the existing iPhone?

it wouldn’t surprise me if Apple didn’t have some prototypes.

chicochaz

As a FORMER AT&T customer and a CURRENT, LONG TIME T-Mobile customer, all I can say is . . .

PLEASE, Oh please, oh please, oh please let it be true!!!!

As a wanna be a FORMER AT&T customer, I second this sentiment!!

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