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T-Mobile makes appeal for iPhone, blames 3G tech

updated 05:00 am EDT, Sat October 22, 2011

T-Mobile reiterates interest in Apple's iPhone

T-Mobile has issued a statement directly addressing the lack of on iPhone model on its network. Following news that a regional carrier, C Spire, was picking up the new iPhone 4S, questions were immediately asked as to why T-Mobile had not also picked up the device. T-Mobile reiterated its recent position that they would like to have the iPhone in its line-up, but blamed the iPhone's incompatibility with its 3G and 4G networks.

Andrew Sherrard the Senior Vice President of Marketing for T-Mobile made the the following observations:

"T-Mobile thinks the iPhone is a good device and we've expressed our interest to Apple to offer it to our customers. Ultimately, it is Apple's decision. The issue remains that Apple has not developed a version of the iPhone with technology that works on our fast 3G and 4G networks. We believe a capable version of the iPhone for our 3G and 4G networks would offer an additional compelling option for our customers on a fast 4G network. However, the iPhone is not the only option to experience the benefit that smartphones offer."

It is well-known that although the iPhone is now a world phone supporting a wide range of GSM and CDMA networks, the radio in the iPhone 4S does not currently support T-Mobile's 1,700MHz frequency.
Apple has increasingly shown an interest in expanding the reach of its iPhone range. It has retained the 3GS in its current line-up as an entry-level device alongside the 4 and the 4S. Further, it has also been adding numerous additional carriers globally each year, although T-Mobile is perhaps the most notable US carrier yet to carry the device.

While Apple has not commented on the issue, it is likely that a move to a true 4G LTE chipset may see T-Mobile finally join the ranks of carriers who sell the iPhone as well as Android devices.

by MacNN Staff



  1. ggore

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I feel sorry for T-Mobile, but I don't expect Apple to manufacture a phone that works on their, and ONLY their network because of the strange combination of frequencies that they employ. Not to mention that they are either about to be acquired or simply be sold and go out of business. It just makes no sense. I don't think any other cellphone company in the U.S. uses their combination of frequencies either, or it might make a little more sense to make a version of the iPhone for that.

  1. Le Flaneur

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Sorry, you're misinformed if you think that adding compatibility with AWS bands would require a carrier-specific iPhone. Frankly, pentaband baseband chips exist already. The lack of support for T-Mobile has far more to do with the politics of the AT&T / T-Mobile merger, I think.

  1. DoctorGonzo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Smells fishy

    A weaker T-Mobile is an easier takeover target for AT&T. I can't imagine why the closest thing to a Mom and Pop cell carrier that exists in the U.S. can get the iPhone 4S, but T-Mobile can't - despite its apparent willingness to do just about anything to placate Apple.

    I get the feeling Apple might be doing AT&T a favor here...

  1. Athens

    Joined: Dec 1969



    T-Mobile isn't the only carrier using AWS, Wind, Mobolicity and a few others in Canada use it as well as many other countries. It is probably a performance benchmark related to power usage and size currently preventing the iphone to use those networks. Its no different then how the first iPhone lacked 3G because of battery life issues. I imagine it will happen as chips or batteries improve.

  1. Oneota

    Joined: Dec 1969


    I'd rather see…

    …iPhone on US Cellular than T-Mobile. They use the same CDMA tech as Verizon and Sprint, so it ought to be a no-brainer.

  1. Oneota

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Seems the comment system doesn't like the ellipsis symbol (option-semicolon). Someone should probably fix that!

  1. facebook_Terrin

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Oct 2011


    About AT&T sale

    The is is all about the AT&T proposed buy out of T-Mobile. T-Mobile is one of Apple's largest partners in Europe. Here in the US, Apple was betting AT&T would be successful in acquiring T-Mobile. Apple could easily build a phone that supports all three large US networks. It just doesn't make sense to do so if T-Mobile gets swallowed by AT&T. If T-Mobile remains an independent company, I see Apple bringing the iPhone to T-Mobile. There are 33 million users on T-Mobile, many using Android phones. If Apple wants to kill Android, it needs to be on T-Mobile (if T-Mobile stays independent). Moreover, T-Mobile plans would work well with the iPhone. T-Mobile also offers unlimited broadband.

  1. Mr. Strat

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Why, oh why

    Why would you want the iPhone when you've got such a gem in the G2X?

  1. qazwart

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Penta-Band Chips are more expensive

    Penta-banded chips are not only more expensive, but the only reason to get them would be to support US T-Mobile. Quad-band chips will support almost all other carriers. With T-Mobile so weak, and the fact that they're in merger negotiations with ATT, it really doesn't make sense for Apple to include them. After all, they now sell every single iPhone they can possibly make. Adding T-Mobile wouldn't increase sales for Apple.

  1. facebook_Robert

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Oct 2011


    muddled thinking

    What these people are suggesting is that HTC and Samsung have the ability to offer phones on t-mobile, but its beyond Apple's ability to develop a technical or economic model that can support t-mobile.

    BS. Apple may not care about t-mobile, but if they did, they'd have no problem developing a phone for t-mobile.

    Unfortunately the result of Apple's attitude has but them in second place behind Android. On the other hand, the result of apple's attitude has put them in a second place behind Android. A more profitable - money minting second place. It's both bad and good.

    But for pure marketshare watchers, Apple's strategy is a disappointment.

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