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Apple Testing iPhone for T-Mobile USA

BGR provides photos of an iPhone prototype that supports T-Mobile USA's 3G service.

Thats right, youre looking at photos of an iPhone prototype with T-Mobile USA 3G bands. The actual internal model is N94, and if you remember, the Verizon model is N92 while the standard GSM variant is N90. We have verified that the phone itself is running a test version of Apples iOS, much like the one we saw in those videos from Vietnam, and it includes internal Apple test apps like Radar and Apples employee directory app.

The T-Mobile US network uses different frequencies than AT&T's, requiring different hardware to support. It's not clear what this will mean given that AT&T is planning to acquire T-Mobile USA, though that transaction will take some time before it goes into effect. In the meanwhile, T-Mobile continues to operate as an independent carrier in the U.S.

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Top Rated Comments

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90 months ago
Wouldn't it be nice for you guys if iPhone 5 came out on every carrier?
Rating: 3 Votes
90 months ago
This would make a possible model for Videotron and Wind Mobile in Canada and probably give Apple more carrier options in other countries also. It makes sense in a non-US Centric view.

And looking at "carrier acquisitions" here, Rogers acquired Fido ages ago, yet even though the networks worked on the same GSM bands, they still haven't merged. An AT&T purchase of T-mobile would probably take years for a merge to even occur, and a few technology changes. AT&T isn't going to retrofit T-mobile's network and change their frequencies, requiring all the existing customer base to change phones.

So even in a US Centric view, it makes a lot of sense. Basically, don't let an AT&T acquisition of T-mobile trick you into thinking this is a false rumor.
Rating: 3 Votes
90 months ago
Testing doesn't mean it is definitely coming. Apple is going to weigh all it as a business opportunity or not.

T-Mobile could mean another 3-6 million phones in a year. If it is a simple hack of an AT&T phone and easy to implement, it might be worth Apple's effort.

Besides, what WILL happen to T-mobile's frequencies? The HW would have to be modified/upgraded/changed to support AT&T, right? Those cell towers won't switch overnight to AT&T freqs for no cost.

What really would make sense would be an AT&T/Verizon/T-Mobile WORLD phone. That would make the most sense to me.
Rating: 2 Votes
90 months ago


I thought AT&T's buyout means T-Mobile is going bye-bye?

408 area code, that means cali. is that steve jobs' personal number? :P

The T-Mobile deal isn't a for sure thing. Likely, but the FTC could block it. Also, as the article states T-Mobile's towers use a different frequencies.
Rating: 2 Votes
90 months ago
Is it possible that they would make a phone that would cover both AT&T's and T-Mobile's bands? AT&T could really combat the coverage problems they've had on the west coast with that, correct?
Rating: 2 Votes
90 months ago
The Verizon iPhone's radio actually supports the AWS 3G bands. This phone could be as simple as a Verizon iPhone with SIM and custom firmware. It's also possible the antenna bands are different too. Still, the radio wouldn't have to be something not in a shipping apple iPhone.
Rating: 2 Votes
90 months ago
Maybe they're testing this so that when AT&T and T-Mo combine, future iPhones will be able to use the T-Mobile 3G bands, even though the phone would still be exclusive to AT&T (and of course, Verizon).
Rating: 2 Votes
90 months ago
The USA mobile networks are such a random mish mash of technology and frequency. I can't believe they have existed so long in this way, talk about overcomplicating things for no reason.
Rating: 2 Votes
90 months ago

There is a lot of Apple Dick riding going on. Their is nothing wrong with that. But at some point you have to wake up and look at the rest of the world. World wide in smartphone sells Iphone leads by a large margin. World wide Smartphone OSs, iPhone is generally in third or fourth place (Depends on who made it, Some put RIM in front of iOS). But the majority of them place Android or Symbian as the top selling OS.

If many of your theories that android would disappear if the iPhone was on the same carrier holds no weight. AT&T is still selling millions of Android based phones next to the iPhone (that is was even when AT&T had a piss poor line up android phones.) Right now yes iPhone is selling more then android OS on verizon. But once the honey moon phase is over android based phones will slip back ahead in sells.

And please for the love of all thats good stop going by your personal observations. Watch me do it. In my men of honor meetings on campus I see no iOS devices and half the room has Androids. In my history class there is an equal proportion of Android OS to iOS phones. its based on where and when you look however it does not represent the entire world.

But this does my school did a survey online and we found as March 20 the Ratios look like this- Blackberry 17%, iOS 40, Android 35%, other ties in the rest. Highest selling phone: iPhone 4, iPhone 3gs, Lg Optimus 1 series of phones.

Thanks for the anecdote.

The iPhone sets the bar. Google has to flood the market with a lot of junk to achieve higher share. That's hardly impressive. Google is the MS of mobile. Hardly a compliment. License out your beta OS to anyone that can slam together a box, give it away, and away you go.

The iPhone is still the #1 selling handset. Where are the iPhone killers? There aren't any. Because the competition doesn't know how to make one. Because Apple approaches tech from a totally different place.

The iOS platform still dominates, and given the iPad's success, it'll be that way for the foreseeable future.

Android enjoys highest smartphone market share. Yet the OS is pretty brutal and their ecosystem is a mess. So why do they have greater share? Not because they make a superior product, but because the only alternative to an iPhone was an Android-based device, and Eric T. Mole got to work licensing it out to everyone with no regard for design or User Experience. If you flood the market with what, 70+ (probably a lot more) devices and let everyone and their dog make the devices you'll eventually enjoy force of numbers.

Android is given away free to anyone to manufacture, to make as many POS devices as they wish, to sell for peanuts, in massive volume.

That's all it is. Market flooding at every price point and you get some sort of touchscreen and some sort of app store. And given Google's Microsoftian horizontal business model, that's all it'll ever be.

For instance, THIS is the kind of total junk that Google puts their name to:

And guess what: Dell went ahead and copied it. The DELL XCD28. Same junk. But Android market share just went up!

Here's another amazing Android device:

Anything to be proud of? But hey, they're dirt cheap. And uh . . . "open" or whatever.

If Google actually *cared* about what they put the Android name to, if they actually gave a damn about the USER, would they allow this? Ask yourself that. That's the difference. There are some things Apple *will not* allow to exist - namely: garbage.

Google does not care - I'll repeat that - DOES NOT CARE, about what happens to their OS, on what devices it's used, what the result is when someone like ZTE or Dell gets their hands on it. It's a great recipe for pushing huge amounts of volume. It's also a great recipe for manufacturing cheap, poorly-made phones in China. The upshot of all this is you get massively inflated market share, a good chunk owing to phones that should have never seen the light of day. Yes, you have the choice to buy junk. You have the choice to just buy a cheapie. Nothing inherently wrong with this. It's your call, right? HOWEVER, this also contributes to Android market share. That's the catch. The question is not just: how big is your market share? But also: what constitutes your market share?

What constitutes Apple's market share? There's no chance for any confusion here. The iPhone. Same attention to detail in hardware and OS, same high-quality User Experience device to device. All the things that make it the #1 selling handset. There is no chance of junk. In fact, if you're Apple, you owe it to yourself to get as close to perfection as you can every time, because you only sell ONE phone, and not on every carrier, and your licensing is closed. Every last % of Apple's share is an iPhone. There is no chance for crap or inflated share from the sale of cheap commodity-phones.

Apple's share constitutes the #1-selling handset. Exclusively. Android share constitutes: the good, the bad, and the downright ugly.

How does Android market share look now? I'd wager it looks a bit different than before you looked at what's behind the numbers, that is, the kind of infrastructure that supports those high numbers.

Yes, highest market share for Android. Until you go hunting for the REASON.
Rating: 1 Votes
90 months ago

Id love to know why this is page one....

Another carrier for the iPhone. That's usually big news.
Rating: 1 Votes

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