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'Speculation is Heightening' for Potential T-Mobile USA iPhone Announcement Next Week

Fortune reports on a new research note from Merrill Lynch analyst Scott Craig claiming that T-Mobile USA may be preparing to announce at its analysts day next week that it will begin offering the iPhone. The claim does not, however, appear to be based on any specific information, as Craig simply notes that "speculation is heightening" about such a move.
Now Merrill Lynch's Scott Craig is out with a note reporting that "speculation is heightening" that Deutsche Telecom (DT) will announce a deal to bring the iPhone to its U.S. subsidiary at next week's analysts day (12/6-7).

It makes sense. The carrier recently beefed up its iPhone-compatible high-speed HSPA+ network in 10 metropolitan areas, allowing some of the 1.5 million T-Mobile customers already using unlocked iPhones to enjoy something better than GSM download speeds.
As T-Mobile has worked to refarm its spectrum to move its fastest data services over to iPhone-compatible frequencies, the carrier has started a "Bring Your Own iPhone" program to help users move their unlocked iPhones to the carrier.


T-Mobile previously stated that the spectrum refarming would make the carrier ready for the iPhone by the end of 2012, and has acknowledged on a number of occasions that its lack of the iPhone has cost it customers and revenue.

But while it seems clear that T-Mobile would like to carry the iPhone and has been reconfiguring its network to be able to support it, there has been essentially no direct evidence or sources claiming that the device will be coming to the fourth-largest carrier in the United States.

Related roundups: iPhone 5c, iPhone 5s, iPhone 6

Top Rated Comments

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22 months ago
Good grief. Some people are just... well I don't want to use an insulting term, so let's just say - quit assuming that your perspective is the only one that could possibly exist.

I've been using an old iPhone on T-Mobile, and it's working extremely well for me. I only pay $30/month for an unlimited data plan. I hardly ever make voice calls, so why should I pay 3x that just to use a smartphone? I'm currently seeing 3G about half the time, and the reallocation of spectrum is progressing rapidly in my area (western Washington state) - but even EDGE works adequately for most of what I want to do.

You're not gonna stream video on EDGE, but I've never had a desire to watch video on a tiny screen. I can, however, listen to a baseball broadcast just fine.
Rating: 9 Votes
22 months ago
This is what T-Mobile super slow 3G looks like:
Rating: 7 Votes
22 months ago

Anyone who continues to use T-Mobile in this day and age ASTOUNDS me. No LTE? That's just pathetic.


T-Mobile did buy MetroPCS for a reason....LTE
Rating: 5 Votes
22 months ago
I've lived with Tmobile and my iPhone for years because of cost. Edge was ok for me and I pay $80/month (tax and fees included) for two lines with unlimited data, texting and 1000 minutes. I have had no problems with the network. I started getting 3G connectivity within the last month or so and I'm more than happy.

Make fun all you want - that rate plan is hard to beat. I have also found customer service to be excellent.
Rating: 5 Votes
22 months ago

LOL!!!! It's nowhere close to 42mbps, but nice try. And enjoy those 300-400ms pings, I'll continue to use my Verizon 4G LTE.


You have no idea what T-Mobile's network is like. People routinely getting 10Mbps or more if their phone support HSPA+ 42Mbps. It's faster than AT&T's non-LTE. And the ping: routinely about 40-60ms based on my experience. This is as good or even better than AT&T or Verizon LTE.

The issue for T-Mobile is lack of something like 700-800Mhz, and smaller network coverage.

I am using iPhone 4S on T-Mobile. I just hope their refarming is done quicker. Right now I can get their HSPA+ on my iPhone at only limited locations. When I get it, usually 5-7Mbps. iPhone 4S only support max 14Mbps.

T-Mobile's plan is really much cheaper than AT&T or Verizon.
Rating: 5 Votes
22 months ago

T-Mobiles HSPA+ is nothing to be laughed at. On my N4 I get anywhere from 14-18mbps on it with pings around 90. And I'm on the $30 prepaid plan. Of course this is all relative to where you live and if they have coverage there. You have to remember that T-Mobile is 42.2mbps while AT&T is only 14.4.


If you don't talk a lot, T-Mobile prepaid $30 plan is the best value out there.

$30 for 100 minutes, unlimited text and 5GB of 4G data.

T-mobile HSPA+ is faster than ATT LTE in many cases.

$30 per month vs. $100+ per month? easy decision.
Rating: 5 Votes
22 months ago

Great, because the iPhone needs another "Sprint"...


Don't be arrogant. Sprint may not be the best carrier everywhere, but unlimited data that's cheaper than a 2Gb plan is a great value to some consumers. And their LTE in some cities provides solid service. Location, location, location.

It's just that more often than not, AT&T and Verizon cover more markets. That doesn't mean they are ALWAYS better carriers ... certainly never cheaper! ;)

Without LTE, I don't see Apple putting the iPhone 5 on T-Mobile because it would create an advertising issue in the USA.

However, T-Mobile LTE is supposedly due out in the first half of 2013. I hope T-Mobile gets iPhone and beefs up their network -- they seem so much more customer-friendly than the bigger carriers.


That's not a good reason at all. The iPhone 4S had "4G" on AT&T only, where as it was limited to 3G on Verizon on Sprint. That didn't stop Apple from giving the 4S to Verizon and introducing it to Sprint :rolleyes:

Apple can still advertise it as an LTE device, but is not responsible for the services provided by a certain carrier in a certain geographical area. If AT&T has no LTE in my town, is Apple not allowed to advertise the iPhone on AT&T as an LTE device? See my point yet?

LOL!!!! It's nowhere close to 42mbps, but nice try. And enjoy those 300-400ms pings, I'll continue to use my Verizon 4G LTE.


HSPDA+ may not be near it's theoretical limit of 42mbps, but even Verizon's LTE is no where it's theoretical limit of 100mbps. On average, is Verizon's LTE faster than T-Mobile's HSPDA+? Probably, but it depends on the market.

My ping was never 300ms+ with GSM 4G, that's a false figure. I don't even think edge is that bad.

I don't know about you, but unless you're one in a million Verizon customers that is paying for their upgrades without a subsidy, you likely are on a share everything plan for $100 a month for 2Gb.

On T-mobile, I could get unlimited HSPDA+ data for $90 a month. And that includes unlimited texts and calling. As others have suggested, there are even cheaper plans with unlimited data.

If anything, competition is good for every consumer on every network. I love how this is such a kick in the nuts to Verizon and AT&T.
Rating: 4 Votes
22 months ago

Great, because the iPhone needs another "Sprint"...


Who are you to limit the choices consumers can make?
Rating: 4 Votes
22 months ago
Without LTE, I don't see Apple putting the iPhone 5 on T-Mobile because it would create an advertising issue in the USA.

However, T-Mobile LTE is supposedly due out in the first half of 2013. I hope T-Mobile gets iPhone and beefs up their network -- they seem so much more customer-friendly than the bigger carriers.
Rating: 4 Votes
22 months ago

Nice! I can have an iPhone with T-Mobile's crappy network!

(I know, YMMV, but the last time I had T-Mobile in Oregon, it worked on my doorstep, but as soon as I walked in my house, that last bar fell off, while AT&T had 4 bars.

However, I hope T-Mobile succeeds and gets better, as it can help drive down prices on the other carriers!)


I never had trouble with T-Mobile...Sprint on the other hand...
Rating: 4 Votes

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