T-Mobile source: 80% chance Apple iPhone coming to T-Mobile USA this autumn

“T-Mobile USA is very close to getting the iPhone in the fall, ending Apple’s exclusive relationship with AT&T, according to a highly placed source at the wireless company,” Leander Kahney reports for Cult of Mac.

“Talks between Apple and T-Mobile are at an advanced stage, our source says, and it’s 80 percent likely that the iPhone will be coming to T-Mobile in Q3,” Kahney reports. “The source works at T-Mobile but asked not to be quoted directly and to remain anonymous because they aren’t authorized to talk to the press.”

Kahney reports, “T-Mobile’s parent company, Deutsche Telekom, which carries the iPhone in Germany, was able to influence, the source said. T-Mobile USA is the fourth-largest U.S. carrier with 33.7 million customers.”

“Apple’s exclusive contract with AT&T is reportedly ending this year, and many expect Apple to offer the iPhone to other wireless companies,” Kahney reports. “Overseas, Apple has routinely added extra carriers when exclusivity deals in those markets expire.”

“Most pundits expect Apple to add Verizon Wireless, the nation’s largest mobile phone provider with 92.8 million subscribers,” Kahney reports. “AT&T is the second-largest US carrier with 87 million customers. The major problem is hardware: Verizon’s network is based on incompatible CDMA technology. However, Apple is already working with chipset-supplier Qualcomm on a CDMA chip for the iPhone, according to Wired.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: The day iPhone goes multiple carriers in the USA, is the day Google Android’s little toehold crumbles away into nothingness. Consumers with no reason to settle is Google’s biggest nightmare.

63 Comments

  1. @LeftCoastDude:

    Doesn’t matter. If there is an alternative carrier with, hopefully lower, competitive plans and the fact that I won’t have to switch carriers and I can’t complain about the carriers ability and service in my area and the fact that I purchased the iPad so I have the AT&T “iPhone” 3G data (‘unlimited 29.99 plan which is good since I just checked and I’m over 3 GB) with the apps I’ve collected, books I’ve downloaded and iPad specific apps I recently purchased (or the free ones) and the fact that I won’t go as blind having to enjoy them on a 3.5 inch screen versus a 9.7″ screen, or the fact that it would be nice to have them both and get rid of my 6 year old dumb phone.

    It would be even nicer if Apple created a smart phone iPhone-lite or a “dumb” iPhone version that only had iPhone phone capabilities and iPod stuff (songs, ransferred tv shows, movies, podcasts, etc.). Charged a lower price for phone and rate plan. That would be sweet!

  2. My son-in-law (ATT salesman) says it’s 100% likely T-mobile. Well, exactly what he said is it will be T-mobile or some other carrier before Verizon. He said this before iPhone 4 was released.

    Since Apple cant keep up with demand and because T-mobile is smaller AND supports GSM, it makes sense to me.

  3. + Apple doesn’t have to do any mods to the iPhone to make it work for T-Mobile. All they need to do is just unlock and modify setting specifically for T-Mobile.

    Honestly, I really don’t care if T-Mobiles 3G is Behind AT&T. All I want is capability to check emails, Maps, some light news updates, facebook, and I’m good to go.

  4. This is the first “other carrier” news that I actually hope comes true. I have zero problems with ATT but a second carrier would be awesome for iPhone and Apple and hopefully it’s T-Mobile.

  5. @Mr. Reeee,

    My words were framed in the context of stunting Android’s growth, which was in response to the MDN Take. An iPhone on T-Mobile and ATT, while technically counting as a multi-carrier strategy, is not the one which will disrupt Android marketshare gains. That would require a Verizon iPhone.

    I do however disagree with your assessment of a CDMA iPhone. I think Apple has the capability to do it and it’s well worth the reward to try. If Steve didn’t believe so in the past, he sure does today after seeing Verizon catapult Android into the atmosphere.

    I look forward to the reaction of people like you on here when the CDMA iPhone arrives. I’ll be front and center. I’ll have names. And one of them is Mr. Reeee.

  6. I don’t think so, I believe apple has
    An unbreakable agreement until
    2012 ….
    I will believe it when I see it.
    Also: I’ve had a 3GS iPhone since may , and it’s worked fine always. In Philly ….

  7. @LeftCoastDude

    Not true about T-Mobile’s 3G network. AT&T may still have more complete coverage but T-Mobile is expanding it’s HSPA+ network to up to 21 Mbps speeds, which screams past what AT+T can offer. They also plan to cover 185 million in the U.S. by the end of the year. From their website:

    “T-Mobile® is rolling out a network faster than our competitors standard 3G networks*, with HSPA+ to over 100 metropolitan cities and up to 185 million people by the end of the year, giving its customers a faster wireless experience. See cities with HSPA+”

  8. So if there are multiple carriers, will that mean I would have to buy a t-mobile iphone over a AT&T Iphone? or will Apple just have unlocked phones, Like in Europe? They might cost more, but I know T-Mobile has this kind of separate payment plan independent of the service contract. In this way you could spread out the full price of an Iphone over a few months rather than the life of the contract. I wonder if this is the model of the future- All Iphones unlocked, you choose what ever carrier you want.
    Brilliant.

  9. @ grognard

    Since the network type is the same, I imagine you would just buy an iPhone and as part of the process of buying it for $199 (the subsidized price), sign the contract for a two-year contract with either ATT or T-Mobile (your choice). Each of the two carriers would separately sell iPhones through their own stores, and would probably compete with each other with promotions. Maybe give away free accessories or “first month free.”

    That last bit may cost Apple some profit. If there are two iPhone carriers in the large U.S. market, and they compete for customers with promotional extras, those extras will obviously attract customers. Currently, Apple sells a high percentage of iPhones through the Apple Store. I’ll bet Apple makes more profit on an iPhone if it is sold through an Apple Store versus an ATT Store. If there are two carriers and they are fighting over customers by giving them freebies, a higher percentage of customers will probably buy the iPhone through one of the carriers, reducing Apple’s average profit per iPhone.

    Perhaps that’s another reason for Apple wanting to keep it exclusive with ATT.

  10. Shhhhhhhhhhhhssssssssss! Don’t tell anybody, but my wife’s iPhone is already on T-Mobile. She got so pissed at AT&T that she jailbroke it. It works just fine on T-Mobile.

  11. Why is everyone still assuming there is an “exclusivity agreement” still in place after more than 3 years? We’ll never know whether there is or isn’t an agreement in place but it seems unlikely to me, especially given that internationally virtually no countries have the iPhone on just one carrier any more. Seems much more likely that Apple expected the networks to upgrade and converge on a standard technology in the USA but that hasn’t happened yet. I suspect the T Mobile rumors are true – they’re your 4th carrier but Deutsche Telekom are the largest telecoms company in Europe and they have enough weight behind them to really get aggressive in the US with the iPhone. I suspect the iPhone 4 already works on their network.

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