T-Mobile is the only major carrier in the U.S. that does not offer Apple’s iPhone. In addition to Verizon, Sprint, and AT&T, nearly one dozen regional carriers also carry the iPhone. However, five years into the iPhone’s life, news has finally surfaced that T-Mobile may begin selling Apple’s smartphone.
According to Merrill Lynch analyst Scott Craig, “speculation is heightening,” that the German-owned carrier will announce a deal with Apple as soon as next week. This notion comes just after T-Mobile USA’s Chief Operating Officer (COO) Jim Alling commented on the iPhone just last week, according to Information Week.
“Make no mistake about it: We would love to carry the iPhone. However, we want the economies to be right for us.”
With this comment, Alling could have been hinting that T-Mobile hopes to avoid the money pit Sprint had fallen into in order to be able to offer the iPhone to its customers. Sprint is reportedly paying Apple $20 billion to carry the iPhone, a cost that is said to be impacting the company’s financials. Craig, however, did not offer any specifics about how T-Mobile’s parent company Deutsche Telekom would strike a deal with Apple to bring the Apple-branded smartphone to its network.
T-Mobile has made some impressive strides to allure users to its iPhone-less network. The company has allowed unlocked iPhones to operate on its network and has even supplies SIM cards to fit iPhone devices. T-Mobile was also the first carrier in North America to begin selling Samsung’s highly anticipated Galaxy Note 2 at the end of October. Samsung’s Galaxy S3, which is considered to be one of the toughest competitors to Apple’s iPhone 5, has become the carrier’s most popular smartphone to date.
Back in August, as retailers were preparing for the launch of Apple’s iPhone 5, an allegedly leaked internal memo from T-Mobile advised employees to sell “against the iPhone” on Sept. 21. More importantly, rumors about the iPhone’s arrival on T-Mobile’s network beg the question as to whether or not the carrier needs Apple’s smartphone. According to Alling, that answer is yes.
“We recognize that it has been a point of churn for us,” he said.
Apple has not commented on the matter, and T-Mobile users will have to wait until next week to see if Craig’s words turn out to be true.