Analyst: Apple iPhone may be bound for T-Mobile next, not Verizon

Cyber Monday Sale over 400  deals“Apple’s path to U.S. smartphone dominance may take an abrupt detour as the iPhone’s next destination may be Deutsche Telekom’s T-Mobile and not Verizon,” Scott Moritz reports for TheStreet.com.

“AT&T will lose its exclusive agreement to sell the iPhone sometime next year and Verizon has been the leading candidate to take on the popular Apple phone next, but Thomas Weisel analyst Doug Reid disputes that assumption,” Moritz reports. “Verizon originally rejected Apple’s exclusivity offer three years ago over control issues. And instead of trying to mend its relations with Apple, Verizon has spent the past year forging a rival partnership with Google to counter the iPhone offensive.”

“But while Verizon has publicly said it remains interested in a deal with Apple, Reid suspects it won’t involve the current generation of iPhones,” Moritz reports. “What’s more likely, Reid says, is that Verizon makes a deal to sell other Apple devices like the elusive Apple Tablet and the next version of the iPhone running on long term evolution or LTE, a fourth generation wireless technology.”

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “James W.” for the heads up.]

29 Comments

  1. Considering Verizon’s antique and archaic network can’t even support the most basic of functions (Can’t support voice and data at the same time, how 1980’s!), I say “Bite me, Verizon. T-Mobile, here I come!”.

  2. First off, that’s a great first comment.
    I had T-Mobile in AZ for for 6 years before I left the States. Excellent customer service, but lousy tech support. Poor quality reception, and even poorer data support. I had a blackberry, and it was often so unusable, that after about 6 months of paying for it and not being able to use it, I dropped their data service.

    But as a testament to their great customer support, I stayed with T-MB still, and yes, used my unlocked iPhone (1st gen) with them (sorry). It was a decent service, but nothing to write home about. Although it won’t be 3G, I believe having iPhone on the T-Mobile will still be a better option than going with Verizon. CDMA is on its way out, why put up with the crass Verizon pin-heads.

    Couple of years from now, July 2011, there ought to be an unlocked iPhone 4g available for all the networks. No reason for a contract, Verizon customers will have the option to lap up the iPhone and use them on their service, without having Apple entering any kind of exclusive deals with Verizon or ATT. Networks can offer subsidies, but only on Apple’s terms by then, and maybe there will be another sister device that will offer content/apps lock-in incentives too enticing for anybody to challenge the Apple dominance.

    MDN MW: late

  3. I guess he is try to inject a little more realism to pump the stock, the old Verizon deal just doesn’t cut it anymore because of those pesky network incompatibilities.

    I can see Apple dropping its huge subsidy from ATT in favor of picking up all 10 of T-Mobiles customers. Maybe SJ just has the hots for CZJ.

  4. Why would Apple enter into another exclusive agreements in the USA? If they open up the iPhone to Tmobile, no new chipset is required and they have an offer for the entire (or nearly) USA GSM market. Either way, the US market is peanuts compared to the ROW. Well, I will caveat that by saying, I have no idea of the potential of the application market in the US vs. the ROW. But, if they did design a CDMA phone for the US market, it would be a shame if it did not also include the ability to roam internationally on GSM networks worldwide.

  5. @krquet :
    T-Mobile has a 3G network. I currently have an Android phone with them. Their network has really improved over the last couple of years and if/when the iPhone goes there, iPhone users will be able to count on excellent customer service as well. I have a Touch, so I don’t know if I will give up my ‘Droid if/when iPhone gets to T-Mobile. I always thought iPhone would do better on T-Mobile because Apple users(I am one of them) always expect great customer service. AT&T;sucks, but I realize T-Mobile’s network was not ready at the time.

  6. Although Moritz doesn’t offer any evidence for this course of action, T-Mobile would make a nice addition to AT&T;in the USA. T-Mobile isn’t big enough to threaten AT&T;but would still provide Apple with a nice new pool of potential customers in new markets.

    And of course, Apple can still use the same CDMA tech they’ve been using all along.

  7. Whether you like them or not, ATT is going to be the dominant carrier in the US. Verizon is going to bleed a lot of subscribers during their abandonment of CDMA (present to 2015) in favor of LTE (GSM compatible).

    The costs of that transition is going to make it difficult for Verizon to grow by acquisition (Sprint?), especially if another (T-Mobile?) carrier is offering the iPhone.

    Verizon should be considered a short strategy for the next several years.

  8. correction to Synthmeister: GSM, not CDMA. There is no legitimate reason for the iPhone to go CDMA unless Verizon is willing to pay for it (which would put the phone at a cost disadvantage to the iPhone (GSM) that we currently know and love.

    Fact is, all service providers would have a hard time supporting all the bandwidth that iPhone users could use. AT&T;is actually doing a better job than I expected. I would anticipate data plans in the future to be much more tiered (i.e., limited), or perhaps even a $/byte rate plan without limit.

    Apple + T-Mobile would be a superb match as long as T-Mobile keeps improving its network as it has. They sure have come a long way since the olf Voicestream days.

  9. “Fact is, all service providers would have a hard time supporting all the bandwidth that iPhone users could use.”

    Exactly spot on. All those praising Verizon’s network would be howling like stuck pigs if suddenly Verizon had 10X the demand placed on its data network. CDMA can’t do simultaneous, PERIOD, and Verizon bandwidth is significantly lower than ATT’s.

  10. Why on earth would Apple make a CDMA iPhone? Are they also going to start putting floppy drives back in their computers, or maybe sell VHS tapes through iTunes? Is there any other daft, backward technology steps they should take?

    It would mean they would have one hardware specification for Verizon customers, and another for the other 6 billion people in the world.

  11. One issue is that T-Mobile uses a different frequency for it’s 3G. I believe AT&T uses 850MHz and 1900MHz while T-Mobile uses 1700MHz and 2100MHz. I don’t think it’s a huge deal, though, as I’m sure some sort of configuration file can be created.

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