Analyst: The next U.S. iPhone carrier will be T-Mobile, not Verizon

“Like most analysts, Kaufman Bros. Shaw Wu believes Apple will eventually end its exclusive relationship with AT&T and give the iPhone to other U.S. carriers — by 2011, most likely, and perhaps as early as this fall,” Philip Elmer-DeWitt reports for Fortune. “But unlike most analysts, who are rooting for Verizon he believes T-Mobile will be the next carrier to get the device.”

In a note to clients, he ticks off the reasons:
• Like AT&T, T-Mobile runs a GSM network, although on different frequencies.
• Apple needs another carrier to compete with Google in the U.S.
• Verizon isn’t the only show in town

P.E.D. reports, “Says Wu: ‘It is notable that signing up both T-Mobile and Sprint would almost be the equivalent of signing Verizon.'”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “JES42” for the heads up.]

48 Comments

  1. T-Mobile’s 3G network is still very spotty and undeveloped, as far as I can see. It’s still a mostly EDGE network. The German parent company hasn’t invested near as much as the domestic carriers in their data network, and I don’t see how T-Mobile will ever pony up the investment capital to compete. T-Mobile has its hands full with its primary European market, and the US market will always be secondary. The only chance T-Mobile will ever have in the US with high-speed data is if it acquired Sprint.

    Unless they offered give-away service plans, I don’t see how anyone would be tempted away from ATT to go to T-Mobile, especially with ATT working toward 4G. Having the iPhone on the T-Mobile network would be a joke.

  2. This is the only logical step for a second carrier. T-Mobile already carriers the Iphone in some European countries. Plus the obvious and often stated fact that the Iphone is a GSM phone AT&T;and T-mobile are the only GSM carriers in the US. A second carrier would have to be T-Mobile.

    For what its worth, I’ve been pretty happy with t-mobile’s reception and customer service. My two year contract ends in August.

  3. I need to get a job as an analyst. They are almost never right and their imagination is so limited. Like who couldn’t have called this one, with the iPhone being a GSM device. Time frame is off though, nothing before 2012. At least this wasn’t another Verizon getting the iPhone article.

  4. There are a *lot* of people currently shackled to Verizon that have a serious case of iPhone-envy, hence the never ending litany of “Is iPhone coming to Verizon?” stories.

    If I were SJ, I would tell them: “No, no, a thousand times, hell no!”

    Verizon told Apple to go *f* themselves when Apple was looking for a carrier for the original iPhone. Apple should reciprocate in perpetuity. Apple doesn’t need Verizon anymore.Verizon had their shot and they blew it.

    Verizon wants and needs Apple though, as evidenced by the litany of ‘iPhone-wannabes’ continuously trotted out by Verizon. “Looky here… OOoooo… just as good as an iPhone.” Pathetic.

    I, for one, am willing to endure AT&T;’s spotty service in order to be able to stick it to Verizon. I hate those slimey bastards with a passion. Fsck em.

  5. I hope he’s right because T-Mobile is the only carrier I’d even consider switching away from AT&T;to go to. I had Verizon for a bit back in the days before the iPhone and their service was beyond awful.

  6. I’ll be the contrarian. Why would Apple go with the 4th largest (by market share) cell provider in the U.S. (according to wikipedia)? Wouldn’t Verizon and making a CDMA phone make much more sense to expand the market for iPhone and iPad?

    Further – I’ve never understood why T-Mobile U.S. is not connected to other T-Mobile units. If T-Mobile U.S. were integrated into other T-Mobile brands, then this would be a no brainer, and could establish Apple as the #1 goto smartphone for enterprise adoption (at least those needing international coverage).

  7. CDMA is going to be around for another ten years, and it’s not like Verizon is going to flip a switch and suddenly all their customers are gliding on the LTE express.

    4G isn’t stopping the exodous out of Sprint either and it’ll be at least another ten years before their transition is complete.

    Those of you thinking it would be a huge waste of time for Apple to develop a hybrid model that supports the heavily saturated frequencies also think Android will always be a wannabe.

    Apple is biding its time for the time being, making the iPhone the best it can be as AT&T leverages its exclusive arrangement, but Apple’s not standing still.

    Just as Bill Gates was supposed to working like a mad hatter to get OS 2 to market for IBM, he was also deep in the skunkworks developing Windows 1.0 and when that contractual relationship ended, he was already heading to market to compete with OS 2!

    Apple is already working on a CDMA phone, but their not waiting for any contract to end; their exclusive deal with AT&T is for US territories only, in the mean time they’ll have sold another thirty-million CDMA phones in Asia, Europe, and the other Americas.

    As they do so, they App Store will begin to provide those consumers with hybrid apps.

    Just as sure as 2G service is still supporting millions of phones, modems, and faxes, CDMA 2000
    will be right there alongside 3G/4G and LTE.

    Meanwhile, the beat goes on.

  8. While we’re at it, why is no one predicting the next iPhone carrier will be Sprint? Aren’t they just as much a power player as AT&T;, Verizon, and T-Mobile? And since they have the only 4G network, would it not make sense so that Apple could go to work on an iPhone for the 4G network?

    Honestly, the iPhone needs to be available on all networks, not just one or two.

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