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Had Apple Made The iPhone To T-Mobile in 2007 Too, The Mobile Landscape Would Be Much Different
I'm a T-Mobile subscriber and will be leaving them after almost a decade of relationship. Along the way, the iPhone came and it was pretty awesome that we could use our iPhones on the network and bypass AT&T altogether even if it meant that we would not be enjoying 3G speed.
But imagine how things might have turned out had Apple also made a deal with T-Mobile as well. I think a lot of things would be very different.
Complaints against AT&T's network would not have been so dramatic as it was. The burden may have been shared by T-Mobile. However, it would have meant more people signing up for the iPhone on T-Mobile instead of waiting.
T-Mobile likely would have experienced subscriber growth.
It may well be Sprint that is the smallest of the four major US carriers.
Verizon would have still be forced into Google's arms but experience greater pain in the marketplace as T-Mobile provides a better avenue for most to leave for the iPhone.
T-Mobile might have grown fat and lazy like AT&T but it also knew that it needed a true 4G network.
T-Mobile might be in third place but a strong third place. Right now, it's a weak 4th.
Still, there is time. More people than not want out of AT&T and I reckon once Apple releases the iPhone 5, we could still see T-Mobile flourish. Should the AT&T and T-Mobile merger not go through, T-Mobile could be in a prime position to take third if it plays the game correctly.
It will have gained billions and additional spectrum as a result of the breakup fee from AT&T. It could use that to strength its HPSA+ network which can match up nicely against LTE networks from Verizon and AT&T that are still in their early stages of deployment.
Meanwhile, there are other companies that T-Mobile can deal with for LTE networks.
Furthermore, should the deal fall apart, T-Mobile could still be a takeover target for someone else. Perhaps a cable company.