Saturday, July 24, 2010

T-Mobile iPhone: What's the Call?

I don't do rumors on this site but I do need to address one particular rumor that was the rage for a full 36 hours or so before it died down. First, I love rumors but OnApple, I don't like spreading them.

Here, I'm going to get into this a bit because I don't want people to get their hopes up. Well, there is hope and I'll explain in a bit.

First, Cult of Mac reported that a highly placed source within T-Mobile has informed them that the iPhone has an 80% chance of being available for sale in the 3rd quarter, July through the end of September, of a traditional financial calendar.

That means sales in the next 70 or so days. Does that make sense? Okay, CofM also said that a deal isn't finalized but close to being signed. Still, if it's that close, only a mere 80% chance of the iPhone coming to T-Mobile USA? Fine, it might be 75% or 90%. It's subjective.

However, from my understanding, wireless providers who signed agreements with Apple all did it about a year before they started selling the iPhone. It is improbable that Apple will agree to a deal and turn around and start selling the iPhones a mere few days later.

So am I saying there is no deal? Here's the hope I mentioned above. For the iPhone to appear on another network, such as T-Mobile or Verizon, a deal would have to be done a year ago. Or at the very least, months ago. And in the last few months, there have been signs that iPhone exclusivity with ATT has ended and at the very least, ending.

  • ATT finally embraced Android - for years, ATT avoided Google's mobile platform like a plague.  I attribute that to some kind of a deal with Apple.  
  • ATT is also carrying Palm's WebOS devices this year.
  • ATT is said to be interested in the first batch of Windows Phone 7
  • ATT ending unlimited wireless data for mobile devices
  • Apple's Steve Jobs hinting that there is some good to having multiple networks in the US.
  • A lot of chatters from suppliers in Asia about another iPhone
  • The timing of T-Mobile's HSPA+ and Verizon's LTE network completion.
  • T-Mobile executive hinting at iPhone sales in the US in late 2010 or early 2011.
  • Verizon confessed it was a bad move to turn down the iPhone and Apple has changed the mobile industry and opened their eyes about app stores.

So in conclusion, I have a highly placed doubt about CofM's source's information. I am still hopeful for a T-Mobile iPhone in the coming months. But any deal between Apple and T-Mobile would have been completed months ago. If anything, it's about the launch, not dotting the "i" or crossing the "t".

More on prospects of the iPhone on other US networks:
Note: I don't do rumors so I've not offered a link to the Cult of Mac page. But here's the main page.

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