Analyst: T-Mobile iPhone in 2010

Speculation has been rampant over a Verizon Wireless iPhone, however a simpler path for Apple to expand its iPhone market would be to offer the device to T-Mobile. Doug Reid, an analyst at Thomas Weisel, sees this move as a logical step.

Apple already offers the iPhone through Germany's T-Mobile unit (T-Mobile is owned by Deutsche Telekom). The carrier has compatible wireless technology to AT&T and wouldn't require any hardware changes to the iPhone, unlike any move to Verizon Wireless.

Furthermore, although Verizon is double the size of T-Mobile at over 70 million subscribers, lately Verizon has been embracing Google's Android and aggressively competing with AT&T in its marketing department by directly targeting the iPhone.

Reports have indicated that Apple's exclusive deal with AT&T expires as early as summer 2010. A move to T-Mobile would be similar to Apple's strategy in other countries after exclusivity deals in those markets ended.

It's widely believed that Verizon rejected an offer of exclusivity from Apple when the iPhone first launched in 2007. Issues over software control and revenue sharing with Verizon are cited as factors that led to Apple's deal with second-largest US carrier AT&T.

Many iPhone users with jailbroken and unlocked devices already subscribe to service with T-Mobile.


I use my 1G iPhone on T-Mobile and it is still better than any new BB device that Tmo releases. It'll be nice to move all my BB users to iPhone and finally upgrade my iPhone.

I don't know why people would use an iPhone on T-Mobile because it uses a different frequency for 3G than AT&T does, so iPhones meant for AT&T and used on T-Mobile via jailbreak methods only reach T-Mobile's EDGE speed, not its 3G speed. I guess if you are someplace where AT&T only has Edge then it's OK, but for cities where AT&T has 3G it will be waaaaaayyyyy faster.

Mark Bernay

I have an officially APPLE unlocked iPhone 3GS which I purchased from APPLE store in Sydney. I'm with T-Mobile because I refused to switch to AT&T. My friends, on the other hand, decided to stick with AT&T for financial reason (officially unlocked iPhones are very expensive). I can honestly say that my EDGE connection on T-Mobile is more RELIABLE than with AT&T'S 3G network. I'd rather have RELIABILITY of connection than a faster connection. You can have all the speed you want, but in the end you want your connection to go all the way through and not die on you just before you reach the "finish line.". I know this for a fact because we've done several tests on our iPhones. We've visited various sites i.e. filling out forms, paying bills online, downloading porn, etc. It never fails, AT&T would drop the connection and force my friends to log back on to those sites (talk about annoying). My T-Mobile connection may be a tad slower but it doesn't drop my connections, hence, avoiding re-entering data I have painstakingly input. Same goes for MMS & SMS send and receive process. With T-Mobile RELIABILITY and $92 per month all inclusive(taxes) -unlimited, unlimited, unlimited plan I definitely made the best decision by purchasing an officially APPLE unlocked iPhone.

So did you figure out how to Tether an unlocked phone on T-Mobile.

The instructions I've found on the internet involve bizarre hijinks with old versions of iTunes.

Problem for me has been that the only carrier settings I have come from Optus, and they won't setup Tethering without charging me $10/month (a bit pricey since I'm in the US and not using their network, only have the contract with them because it costs more to buy it out than to keep paying monthly till I get back to Australia!).

I've not found any problems with the edge speed, even the maps load fast enough, and I wasn't getting 3G at home in Australia anyway so I'm used to the speed.

Any help with tethering appreciated..... its a 3G (not a 3GS)

very true. in the realm of networking reliability trumps speed. i would always rather know that it works than the 30 percent faster it is.

I also purchased an "officially unlocked" iPhone 3Gs from Fido Canada ($900) which turned out NOT TO BE UNLOCKED and cost me over $5000 in roaming charges in Europe for 1 week.
Apple could CARE LESS about it's customers.

Caveat Emptor when it comes to Apple Inc.

where do you get your misinformantion? ATT uses the same freq as T-Mo except that T-Mo doesn't drop your calls... and T-Mo 3G is FASTER! yes faster and more stable than ATT.. ever heard od HSPA+

Er... T-Mobile uses 3G frequencies 1700/2100. Both are needed to work on 3G.
AT&T uses 850/1900

The iPhone only supports 850/1900/2100.

This is why 3G does not work on current iPhones on T-Mobile.

iPhone really needs another SKU, 900/1700/2100 would be ideal, adding 900 Mhz for Europe/Asia that increasingly is starting to use it. It would cover TMobile and be the standard model for the rest of the world outside North America that has little interest in 850 Mhz.

People hem and haw about the decreased speed of Edge, but I have NEVER had a slow speed with any phone I had that was Edge only!! I use my mobile phone for browsing when I do not have access to a laptop or desktop PC, but I have never had a problem with the speed. I have IM on my phone and I do not have a lapse of time in the conversation. I am very happy with having Edge, its not like I have heavy productivity guidelines that I must meet from my phone. If I did, I would not have any issues!

Beware Apple Rip Off Artists!

Is there any reasonable plan for internet data usage when traveling to Europe from the US?

As a T-mobile subscriber, i would most definitely purchase an iphone if T-mobile ends up agreeing to a contract with Apple in America...

Totally. I've been with T-Mobile for over 8 years and refused to switch to AT&T even though I'm dying for an iPhone... If T-Mobile ends up with the iPhone, I will be one of the first to get it.

... Which is probably the only reason why TMO lost so many people to AT&T in the US. Currently, TMO is in 4th place in the US. I bet they would jump to at least second if they broke out the iPhone!

You can find an unlocked/jailbroken Iphone on the web (ebay/craigslist) for $250-$300. Very enjoyable on Tmobile USA even w/ Edge speeds. Depending on your contract or lack thereof, you can get a data plan for as low as $25/mo. Use wi-fi and Skype and you get to enjoy all the iPhone benefits with a great carrier.

As a consumer and a business student- Companies should focus more on price and quality. Companies like At&t and apple look more profitability, however apple is more focused on innovation and research. T-mobile offers cheaper service and because it is a global carrier, it wouldn't have problem, fixing key issues to include i-phone to its existing cell phones. CDMA based carriers are narrow as it doesn't allow it's phones to be used in other carriers, moreover it is only popular in countries like Korea and USA. Which is why it would be costlier for apple to design a phone only for a limited market(even though verizon has 90+ million users). Reason why i-phone is more popular globally than android and why at&t has a major share among cell phone users in USA. If apple choses to partner with t-mobile, it would be cost effective and be stepping into a new market that is more focused towards effective pricing and better service.

Fido (Roger's inc.) with the blessing of Apple Inc. in Canada sold me an UNSUBSIDIZED (=unlocked) iPhone 3Gs for $900 (more expensive than an iPhone 4!) which turned out to be a SUBSIDIZED (=locked) version, and as a direct result of their FRAUDULENT PRACTICE (=illegal, but the authorities could care less because they are large influential crooked corporations) I incurred over $5000 in roaming charges using my maps app in Europe for ONE WEEK. Neither Apple nor Fido has to this day—that was 2 years ago—accepted responsibility; unlocked my phone or compensated me for their CRIMINAL BEHAVIOUR.

BEWARE APPLE, and take everything they say with a grain—make that tablespoon—of salt.

You have been warned.