Is it more important that your carrier have impeccible cellular service, or that they have the smartphone you want? In T-Mobile’s case, they don’t have great service or great phones, so they’re kinda screwed until they get the iPhone and expand their 4G network.
T-Mobile is the only major carrier left in the U.S. that doesn’t sell the iPhone, and they’re probably not going to be able to sell it anytime soon because the iPhone’s expensive and according to their COO, they can’t afford it.
During Morgan Stanley’s Media & Telecoms Conference in Spain, T-Mobile USA’s COO, Jim Alling said:
“Make no mistake about it: We would love to carry the iPhone. However, we want the economies to be right for us. We recognize that it has been a point of churn for us.”
Alling said that T-Mobile does’t want to sign a deal similar to Sprint’s recent four-year $15.5 billion deal with Apple. Sprint began carrying the iPhone in late 2011, but due to the high subsidy costs of the iPhone, Sprint claims their iPhone business won’t turn a profit until 2015.
Even though T-Mobile doesn’t officially carry the iPhone, the carrier has managed to attract a number of iPhone users who have unlocked their device. T-Mobile says there are over 1.5 million unlocked iPhones operating on their network even though the iPhones don’t get 3G speeds.