T-Mobile USA announces deal to begin selling Apple products in 2013

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
T-Mobile has announced it has inked a deal with Apple to begin selling products in America next year, presumably including both the iPhone and iPad.

The announcement came as part of a press release by the carrier's parent company, Deutsche Telekom, on Thursday. The release declined to mention specific products, but Apple's iPhone and iPad lineup are the only cellular-capable devices offered by the company.

"T-Mobile USA has entered into an agreement with Apple to bring products to market together in 2013," the release said.

T-Mobile is the fourth-largest carrier in the U.S., but despite its size, it has not offered Apple's iPhone to date. And yet many smaller, regional carriers already offer the iPhone through partnerships with Apple, which T-Mobile has admitted contributed to its woes in America.

"Following on from the preceding steps such as the spectrum swap with Verizon, the towers deal with Crown Castle and the transaction with MetroPCS that we have announced, we have now added the final piece to the jigsaw to boost the competitiveness of T-Mobile USA sustainably," said Ren? Obermann, CEO of Deutsche Telekom.

T-Mobile


Though the iPhone is not officially available through T-Mobile, the carrier is said to have more than 1.5 million active unlocked handsets on its network. Many of those handsets operate at wireless data speeds slower than 3G because of technical limitations with T-Mobile's network.

To address that issue, T-Mobile has begun widening its 4G HSPA+ network in major metropolitan areas across the U.S., offering users of unlocked iPhones the ability to access high-speed data on its network.

The main reason T-Mobile has not offered the iPhone is because its network's frequency band is incompatible with current versions of the iPhone. While the iPhone can place calls on T-Mobile's network, it cannot connect to the carrier's unique high-speed 3G frequency.

That's begun to change as the carrier has transitioned its service to the 1900 MHz GSM band. That's the same frequency used by AT&T, and is compatible with existing iPhone models.

iPad mini


T-Mobile has publicly admitted that the lack of Apple's iPhone in its smartphone lineup has hurt the carrier and caused customers to leave. The carrier has about 33 million subscribers in the U.S., placing it behind Sprint, AT&T and Verizon in terms of size.

However, T-Mobile is set to grow next year thanks to a planned merger with MetroPCS ? the fifth-largest carrier in America, and another provider that does not have access to Apple's iPhone. T-Mobile and AT&T previously attempted to merge, but that deal was pulled when it became clear the Federal Communications Commission would block the agreement.

The terms of the attempted merger between AT&T and T-Mobile deemed that AT&T would give T-Mobile $1 billion worth of wireless spectrum in the 1900MHz range if the deal fell through. That spectrum exchange is now likely key to the announced agreement between T-Mobile and Apple.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 23


    "Products".


     


    Meaning the Wi-Fi iPad.

  • Reply 2 of 23
    Over here in The Netherlands they are the only telco that I know of that supports Visual Voicemail. Which US telco's support that?
  • Reply 3 of 23


    I have an iPhone 3, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, and iPhone 4S all running on T-mobile at the slow speed at very low rates. Looking forward to the 1900 band and then I can switch my iPhone 5 after paying off ATT. These five will be cheaper than two on ATT, all unlimited data.

  • Reply 4 of 23
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    Seems unbelievable that T-Mobile USA has held out this long.

    fithian wrote: »
    I have an iPhone 3, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, and iPhone 4S all running on T-mobile at the slow speed at very low rates. Looking forward to the 1900 band and then I can switch my iPhone 5 after paying off ATT. These five will be cheaper than two on ATT, all unlimited data.

    I hope you get your wish but the word "products" is suspicious.
  • Reply 5 of 23
    AI... Don't TEASE me!
  • Reply 6 of 23
    gwmacgwmac Posts: 1,799member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post



    Over here in The Netherlands they are the only telco that I know of that supports Visual Voicemail. Which US telco's support that?


    All of them as far as I know.

  • Reply 6 of 23


    Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post

    Over here in The Netherlands they are the only telco that I know of that supports Visual Voicemail. Which US telco's support that?


     


    All of the ones that have the iPhone officially.

  • Reply 8 of 23
    cameronjcameronj Posts: 2,357member
    Wait, in Europe you don't generally get visual voicemail? Wow! That's terrible... I was thinking of changing from ATT to another provider here to save $50 per month, but losing visual voicemail was not worth the savings!
  • Reply 9 of 23
    tulkastulkas Posts: 3,757member


    As a Canadian, I hope this means AWS for HSPA but the realist in me knows that it doesn't.

  • Reply 10 of 23

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Fithian View Post


    I have an iPhone 3, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, and iPhone 4S all running on T-mobile at the slow speed at very low rates. Looking forward to the 1900 band and then I can switch my iPhone 5 after paying off ATT. These five will be cheaper than two on ATT, all unlimited data.





    i have the iPhone 5 on the Monthly4G plan. edge data is terrible. outside of iMessage and email it's pretty useless. i can't wait till the 1900 band comes to my city.


    what i fear now is that apple will come out with a new model iPhone with the 1700 band after i just bought this thing.

  • Reply 11 of 23
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 13,001member
    solipsismx wrote: »
    Seems unbelievable that T-Mobile USA has held out this long.
    I hope you get your wish but the word "products" is suspicious.

    I agree "products" is very suspicious, "devices" would've been more clear cut.
  • Reply 12 of 23

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post





    I agree "products" is very suspicious, "devices" would've been more clear cut.


    Most likely a translation phenomenon. 

  • Reply 13 of 23
    am8449am8449 Posts: 369member
    Great news! T-Mobile is one of the few carriers that has affordable prepaid service. Hope they keep their prices low, and don't force iPhone users to upgrade to post-paid like AT&T did.
  • Reply 14 of 23
    T-Mobile has been upgrading their network and refarming their 1900 MHz band to DC-HSDPA, i.e. Apple iPhone 5, HTC One S, Samsung Galaxy Note II, Samsung Galaxy SIII will access T-Mobile's "4G" network at LTE-like speeds. T-Mobile's 1900 MHz DC-HSDPA network is already live:

    San Francisco
    Oakland
    Modesto
    Stockton
    Silicon Valley
    Phoenix
    Mesa
    Tucson
    Miami
    Ft. Lauderdale
    Las Vegas
    Kansas City
    Baltimore
    Houston
    Washington, DC

    T-Mobile plans to complete the network upgrade by mid-2013 before immediately deploying LTE at 1700 MHz (20 MHz capacity).

    T-Mobile has more band capacity for LTE than any other carrier except Verizon (with whom they are tied). Verizon has approximately twice as many customers however. This is critical because once customers who are now locked to a non-LTE phone upgrade ATT's LTE network will slow to a crawl and even Verizon's LTE network will slow considerably.

    Furthermore, even when not accessing T-Mobile's LTE network (once available) customers will still experience LTE-like speeds on T-Mobile's "4G" DC-HSDPA network. Not bad for their "fallback" network!
  • Reply 15 of 23
    gwmacgwmac Posts: 1,799member


    This is good news. Sprint is too small to fight off AT&T and Verizon on their own, but once Sprint finishes rolling out LTE to their whole network in 2013 and T-Mobile also has the iPhone maybe that will help keep the big two from continuing to raise prices and cut data which has been the recent trend. 

  • Reply 16 of 23
    Five years later, I just don't care.
  • Reply 17 of 23

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post



    Five years later, I just don't care.


     


    Then why comment....?

  • Reply 18 of 23
    It took 4 1/2 years for the Verizon due to contracts. It was only another 1/2 year for IPhone to be on sprint now we are at 6 and it is decided to be T-Mobile.
  • Reply 19 of 23

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Fithian View Post


    I have an iPhone 3, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, and iPhone 4S all running on T-mobile at the slow speed at very low rates. Looking forward to the 1900 band and then I can switch my iPhone 5 after paying off ATT. These five will be cheaper than two on ATT, all unlimited data.



     


    You can check airportal.de to see where users have reported getting 1900MHz.

  • Reply 20 of 23
    philboogiephilboogie Posts: 7,671member
    cameronj wrote: »
    Wait, in Europe you don't generally get visual voicemail? Wow! That's terrible... I was thinking of changing from ATT to another provider here to save $50 per month, but losing visual voicemail was not worth the savings!

    I feel your pain. Over here T-Mobile is the only provider that supports it, perhaps because they were the first carrier to get the iPhone. Now 4 years later they screw us over by charging us €1,99 p/m for the service.

    Vodafone doesn't have, and it looks like the UK and Germany are out of luck as well. One bright spot is that our biggest - and crappiest carrier, KPN - supports HD Voice, but they are the only carrier here. The US doesn't seem to support it though.
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