Thursday, April 7, 2011

Pure Speculation: AT&T Want T-Mobile To Sell More iPhone? If So, Maybe Next iPhone Will Be Unlocked

Here's a post from Daily Wireless that question adding spectrum as the reason for AT&T buying T-Mobile.  Maybe it is.  Maybe it isn't.  Maybe it's related to why T-Mobile is where it is at today and it all goes back to the iPhone as some blogs have suggested when it failed to first acquire the iPhone 

Maybe.  I admit it's a little Glen Beck-ish but hear me out.  

If the DW post, which questioned (like I did) the reason behind why AT&T wants T-Mobile, is not true, then what is the reason AT&T buying T-Mobile be about?  After all, T-Mobile's 3G network operate on the AWS band, which is why a 3G device that runs on AT&T's network will not work with T-Mobile's 3G network.  The two just don't mesh.  And if AT&T wants to convert T-Mobile's current 3G network into a wider LTE one, that might make sense but it's a lot of work.  Very very messy.

So if it's not about spectrum, what's it about?  And after all, T-Mobile's HPSA+ network seems pretty competitive already.

Could be this be about the iPhone then?  Economy of scale?

There are about 40 million or so T-Mobile customers who like the service but would want the iPhone.  Like myself but don't want to go to AT&T or Verizon.  Earlier today, I tweeted that knowing AT&T will acquire T-Mobile, after it has satisfied competitors and regulatory agencies, could Apple then potentially sell an iPhone in the US, unlocked for use on any carrier because AT&T would not care if people buy the iPhone for use on its network or T-Mobile?

One pitfall is that there is no promise that the next iPhone will work on T-Mobile's HPSA+ network.  In fact, if one can buy an unlocked iPhone for use on T-Mobile, it'll likely get only EDGE speed.  

Regardless of whether the next iPhone runs over 3G on T-Mobile or not, it'll do something that the future 130 million+ subscriber AT&T company wants: keep potentially lucrative users at T-Mobile happy.  For today's AT&T, those T-Mobile users will be its subscribers anyway.  

And keeping a large number of these high-paying T-Mobile around is better than losing them to Verizon.  

Crazy?  Yes.  Like the title of this post said: Pure Speculation.  

And yet, don't be surprise that when Steve Jobs unveils the next iPhone, he tells us that it'll run either on either the CDMA or GSM network and that it's unlocked.  However, I would be surprised if it works on T-Mobile's 3G network.

More at Daily Wireless.

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