AT&T may plan on acquiring T-Mobile for $39 billion, but T-Mobile is telling its customers the iPhone isn't on the table for the time being.
on acquiring for T-Mobile for $39 billion in cash and stock, a blockbuster
announcement that's left pundits and media scrambling to predict how the
telecommunications landscape will change in months and years to come.
At least some
T-Mobile customers, though, have a much simpler question: When can I get my
hands on an Apple iPhone?
T-Mobile has decided to tackle that question head-on. "T-Mobile USA remains an
independent company," reads a note posted on the carrier's Website
. "The acquisition is expected
to be completed in approximately 12 months. We do not offer the iPhone. We
offer cutting-edge devices like the Samsung Galaxy S 4G and, coming soon, our
new Sidekick 4G."
words, T-Mobile customers will need to wait at least a year, until AT&T
completes its acquisition. Currently, AT&T and Verizon Wireless are the
only two U.S. carriers to offer the iPhone, although T-Mobile subscribers in Germany
can obtain one of
the bestselling devices.
deal is a "clear positive" for Apple, according to a March 21 research note
from Ticonderoga Securities analyst Brian White. "The company would gain access
to T-Mobile's 34 million subscriber base, versus the 96 million subscribers at
AT&T in 4Q10," he wrote. "Keep in mind, AT&T activated 4.1 million
iPhones during 4Q10."
said, AT&T could face some difficulties in obtaining government approval
for the deal. During a March 21 call with analysts and media, executives from
the carrier stressed that rivals in the wireless arena, including Verizon and
Sprint, would keep things fiercely competitive.
competition will continue to flourish," read a slide from the PowerPoint deck accompanying the call
Communications Commission and the U.S. Department of Justice will both examine
whether the acquisition violates antitrust regulations. With an eye toward the
government, AT&T also argued that the transaction "is in public interest,"
helping ease impending spectrum shortages, expanding LTE (Long-Term Evolution) to
more of the American population, and improving the quality of voice and data
least one of AT&T's rivals is already painting the acquisition as a
negative for competition.
AT&T and T-Mobile would be almost three times the size of Sprint, the
third-largest wireless competitor," read a March 20 statement from Sprint, as
reprinted on AllThingsD
. "If approved, the merger would result
in a wireless industry dominated overwhelmingly by two vertically integrated
companies that control almost 80 percent of the U.S. wireless post-paid
also appear leery of the acquisition's affect on wireless competition.
takes out a key pricing competitor to AT&T, gives access to some key 4G
technologies from T-Mobile, and clearly solidified AT&T in the lead to the
U.S. market," Ray Wang, principal analyst for Constellation Research, wrote in
a March 21 e-mail to eWEEK. "The bottom line: AT&T wins, customers lose."