T-Mobile Gets iPhone this Fall

| Rumor

According to the latest rumors, AT&T’s exclusive iPhone deal will end this fall with T-Mobile coming on board as the second U.S. carrier instead of Verizon. Discussions between Apple and T-Mobile are said to be in an advanced state with a high likelihood that the deal will come together.

Word of the alleged negotiations comes from an unnamed source, according to Cult of Mac, that apparently is high in the T-Mobile food chain.

The notion that Apple would strike a deal with T-Mobile before Verizon goes against the popular idea that the Cupertino-based company is working to get its combination iPod and smartphone on the largest network in the U.S. Verizon’s subscriber base includes 92.8 million customers, while T-Mobile’s customer base numbers 33.7 million.

Bringing the iPhone to T-Mobile in the U.S. could potentially be an easier technical move for Apple. T-Mobile uses wireless technology that’s already at least partially compatible with the iPhone, where Verizon’s CDMA technology would require a redesigned model.

Deutsche Telekom (T-Mobile’s parent company) CEO Rene Obermann added some fuel to the rumor that T-Mobile will end AT&T’s exclusive iPhone deal. “T-Mobile USA is hoping to start selling the popular smartphone later this year or next year,” he said.

Apple and T-Mobile have not commented on the rumor.

Popular TMO Stories



But how much retooling will the iPhone need to work on T-Mobile’s 3G?

Terry medeiros

Not much at all. They use the same technology they just use different frequencies. They just have to take the same chip and change the frequency it runs on.


that’s nice…. my ATT contract expires this fall so
hope my iPhone with ATT will work with T-mobile


The notion that Apple would strike a deal with T-Mobile before Verizon goes against the popular idea that (Apple) is working to get its (iPhone) on the largest network in the U.S.(Verizon).

Apple certainly does need to expand its US iPhone subscriber base far beyond AT&T’s borders.  But, Verizon really cannot offer Apple what Apple needs most from its iPhone carrier partners, while both T-Mobile and Sprint can do so: contract terms with Apple identical to AT&T’s.

In making its choice for a 2nd (& 3rd?) US iPhone carrier network, Apple’s primary need is not for a larger subscriber base, because Apple will quickly build whichever carrier it chooses into a much larger 3G/4G carrier than it has been up until now.  Instead, Apple utterly needs (in order to avoid catastrophic failure) what Verizon constitutionally could never surrender: complete control of the iPhone’s entire UI & app-marketing widget.  That is far more valuable to Apple’s financial and technological health/development than all the money it would make with Verizon (if such a partnership were somehow possible).

Only after Apple has resuscitated and grandly transformed T-Mobile (and/or Sprint) into (a) dangerous competitor(s) of Verizon, as Verizon’s mushrooming losses to the iPhone then become more starkly dire, will Verizon at last be ready to accept Apple’s all-or-nothing terms for a bounteous Apple partnership of its own.  Verizon must trash its entire culture to do so.  (But, it will. Or else it will rapidly wither away.)


Android’s Achilles heel, lack of control of the whole Android widget, significantly hobbles that platform’s competitiveness and ability to foster killer-app development. 

Android currently pushes Blackberry hard for second-place smartphone ranking only by default because so many AT&T-averse iPhone-coveters must settle for that second choice.  Most smartphone fans want an iPhone, a smaller but still huge number very much prefer a Blackberry, but until Google sacrifices/trashes all but one primary Android platform and reclaims much more control of the whole Android widget from its carriers, Android will only be loved by a rather small minority of hardware-entranced UI-insensitive Linuxy geeks and will thus never acquire a significant developer community.  (All other smartphones are dead-men-walking.)

When the iPhone’s subscriber base breaks out beyond AT&T?s borders, Android’s current primary attraction will no longer exist.  If Android could recapture control of its whole widget, only then could it compete with Number Two (Blackberry).



My understanding, from those who’ve jailbroken and unlocked their iPhones to work with T-Mobile is that the existing phones don’t work with T-Mobile’s 3G service, so it’s EDGE only.

That’s not to say that Apple couldn’t retune and sell iPhones that’ll work with T-Mobile. They probably can.

So if/when the iPhone comes to T-Mobile, you may be able to buy a subsidized T-Mobile iPhone at that time, but probably won’t get good service from your AT&T iPhone.

Having said that, I’ve been hearing so many of these “iPhone is coming to ...!!!” stories, that my first response is “Faketyfakefakefake” (to borrow a phrase from the author of this post, @jgamet).

The grain of truth here is that Apple doesn’t need to design a whole new iPhone (something they won’t do as they just released one) to get it to work with T-Mobile.


Every year there’s rumours that the iPhone will be coming to a different carrier soon, and every year those rumours turn out to be false (in the sense that soon is 3 months from the time of the rumour and not 10 years).

Not gonna happen this year. Maybe next year when Jobs introduces iPhone 5.

Log in to comment (TMO, Twitter or Facebook) or Register for a TMO account