After many years of waiting, T-Mobile executives have finally made the announcement so many people have been waiting for:
A surprising number of T-Mobile subscribers use an iPhone, even though the carrier doesn’t offer this device. But at least T-Mobile made this a bit easier today, as it has begun offering the miniature SIM cards used by Apple’s latest smartphone.
Apple sells an unlocked version of the iPhone 4, which can be used on T-Mobile’s network to make voice calls and to make a 2.5G (EDGE) connection to the Internet. Because of wireless frequency incompatibilities the device can’t connect to this carrier’s 3G network.
But there’s an additional wrinkle: the iPhone 4 doesn’t use standard-sized SIM cards, but rather Micro SIM cards. Previously, those who wanted to use this model on T-Mobile’s network needed to cut their SIM card down. That’s no longer necessary, as the company now sells the smaller cards.
A Micro SIM card costs $10 in a store but is free when purchased from this company’s website. T-Mobile’s customer service can transfer an account from one SIM card to another.
Despite the limitations of using an iPhone on T-Mobile, it’s still a popular choice: there are over a million Apple smartphones being used on this carrier, most of which are iPhone 3GS units that have been unlocked by their owners.
UPDATE: On Oct. 4, Apple’s new CEO Tim Cook unveiled the iPhone 4S, which is going to debut in mid-October. Despite a raft of earlier rumors, this smartphone will not be offered by T-Mobile.
While customers of this carrier will undoubtedly consider this bad news, it’s not all gloom and doom. This device is a moderately-updated version of its predecessor, which means T-Mobile subscribers will still be able to use it with this carrier, as long as they have a miniature SIM card.
An overview of this smartphone is available here:
At this point, it appears that T-Mobile customers who want official support for Apple’s smartphone are going to have to wait for AT&T’s acquisition of this carrier. Whether this goes through is still up in the air, however.