Looks like T-Mobile won’t be selling the iPhone this year
Please know that we think the iPhone is a great device and Apple knows that we’d like to add it to our line-up. Today, there are over a million T-Mobile customers using unlocked iPhones on our network. We are interested in offering all of our customers a no-compromise iPhone experience on our network.
This doesn’t seem like the sort of thing that someone would publish on a company blog a week before Apple announces its new iPhone, if his company was going to be part of the presentation. So my guess is that T-Mobile will be pushing Android devices again this Christmas.
Why isn’t Apple doing a T-Mobile iPhone? Probably some mix of technical and business reasons. T-Mobile uses a unique frequency for its data network, so Apple would either need to make and stock a separate T-Mobile iPhone, or build the T-Mobile frequency into all of its devices.
Given T-Mobile’s relatively small size and AT&T’s announced intention to purchase it, that may not have seemed like a wise investment whenever Apple put the finishing touches on this year’s iPhone.
Eventually, Apple should try to sell the iPhone with every carrier. (Apple’s delay in selling a Verizon iPhone, in particular, really helped Android’s growth.) But T-Mobile clearly isn’t its priority. Plus, the 1+ million people who insist on having an iPhone on T-Mobile — 3% of T-Mobile’s subscriber base — are already doing so, even though it means being locked to a 2G data network.