Apple could add T-Mobile as a carrier for the iPhone in the U.S., suggests Kaufman Bros. analyst Shaw Wu, perhaps by the first half of 2011. Wu believes that T-Mobile's use of similar cellular technology to current iPhone carrier AT&T, combined with T-Mobile's backing of frequencies supported by the iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4, could be key reasons behind such a move. Apple CEO Steve Jobs debuted the iPhone 4, the company's next-generation smartphone, during his keynote address June 7 at the WWDC.
Apple could potentially add T-Mobile as a carrier for its popular iPhone in
the United States, according to a June 10 research note by Kaufman Bros.
analyst Shaw Wu, perhaps as soon as the first half of next year. That note
comes days after Apple rolled out the iPhone 4, the next in its line of popular
"From our understanding, this is becoming closer to reality than ever with
sourcing indicating that it could happen as early as this fall or by [the first
half of 2011]," Wu wrote in his research note. "While the general consensus is
around Verizon (which we believe will happen eventually), we continue to
believe that T-Mobile USA is the most likely candidate given its use of similar
cellular technology such as AT&T."
In addition, Wu wrote, "we are picking up that T-Mobile views the iPhone as
key in winning back lost customers and as such could be more likely to agree to
[Apple's] terms." T-Mobile currently supports 1,700MHz and 2,100MHz
frequencies, the latter of which is supported by the iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4.
Part of the reason for an additional carrier, Wu theorizes, could be Apple's
need to stay abreast of the increasingly competitive consumer smartphone
market, where the company finds itself challenged not only by traditional
competitors such as RIM's BlackBerry franchise, but also by the growing family
of Google Android devices.
"While we believe the iPhone 4, as a significant upgrade, will likely see
great success at AT&T driven by upgrades, we believe [Apple] ultimately
needs to sign an additional U.S.
carrier to sustain its high growth rates," Wu wrote. "Our sources also indicate
that one of the key reasons why [Apple] is more open to adding U.S.
carriers in 2011 is to attack Android more directly. ... Android's wins have been
where iPhone isn't available and that could change dramatically if the iPhone
were available on more carriers."
During a June 7 presentation at Apple's 2010 Worldwide Developers Conference
CEO Steve Jobs said the iPhone 4 represents "the biggest leap since the
original iPhone," according
to a live transcript of the event, adding: "This is beyond doubt one of the
most precise, beautiful things we've ever done."
The smartphone includes a rear-facing camera capable of shooting 30-frame-per-second
HD video at 720p, a larger battery capable of 7 hours of talk time, a
front-facing camera for video conferencing and a built-in three-axis gyroscope.
In addition, Jobs also revealed a new feature called FaceTime, which lets users
make video calls via WiFi.
The iPhone 4 will be available starting June 24 in either black or white.
The 16GB version will retail for $199, and the 32GB version for $299, with a
two-year contract through AT&T. Apple has lowered the price for its preceding
smartphone model, the iPhone 3GS, to $99 for the 8GB model, while selling the
16GB version for $149 and the 32GB version for $199 with free shipping.
Nicholas Kolakowski is a staff editor at eWEEK, covering Microsoft and other companies in the enterprise space, as well as evolving technology such as tablet PCs. His work has appeared in The Washington Post, Playboy, WebMD, AARP the Magazine, AutoWeek, Washington City Paper, Trader Monthly, and Private Air. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.