Two recent reports indicate that T-Mobile USA could be getting the Apple iPhone before this year is out. These join a long strong of similar reports that seem to say that AT&T’s long stranglehold on this very popular model is coming to an end.
Last week, Chris Anderson, editor of Wired, said, “A T-Mobile manager casually mentioned to me that they’re going to get the iPhone 3GS (but not 4, oddly) later this year.”
If true, this means Apple has struck some sort of compromise with its partner AT&T so that other carriers will be able offer the iPhone, but not the latest model. The iPhone 4 is a significant upgrade from its predecessor, the 3GS, as it includes a much high resolution display and support for making video calls.
AT&T is still offering the 3GS as a low-cost alternative to the more recent version, which debuted this summer.
A Bit More Evidence
A new wireless carrier started up in Canada a few days ago. Vidéotron is using the AWS version of 3G wireless networking, the same as T-Mobile USA.
On its launch day, one of this company’s vice presidents announced that a version of the iPhone with AWS support is in development, and will likely be released by Vidéotron “in the coming months”.
It’s possible this Canadian carrier is going to benefit from an agreement between Apple and T-Mobile, as it is leading to an AWS-compliant iPhone.
Change Is (Probably) Coming
Before the launch of the very first iPhone, an agreement was forged that made AT&T the sole U.S. provider for the iPhone. However, persistent leaks and rumors have indicated that this is coming to an end.
Verizon is the carrier these reports indicate is most likely to get a version of the device, but all the U.S. carriers have made it clear they’d be happy to offer Apple’s very popular smartphone.
T-Mobile USA has been stuck in fourth place in the carrier market for a very long time, and is losing subscribers to its larger competitors, not gaining on them. Adding the iPhone, especially if it can do so before Verizon, could help reverse this trend.