Friday, September 2, 2011

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.

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