T-Mobile, not Verizon, most likely to see iPhone first, report claims

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
While its inevitable that Apple will introduce a version of its iPhone handset for U.S. wireless carriers outside of AT&T, it's T-Mobile that stands as the front-runner for the gig rather than Verizon, one investment research firm said Thursday.



In a report released to clients Thursday morning, Kaufman Bros. analyst Shaw Wu cited sources as saying that additional U.S. iPhone carriers are becoming "closer than reality than ever," with some indicating that an announcement could come as early as this fall or early next year.



"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 as AT&T," he wrote. "Also, 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."



More specifically, Wu noted that T-Mobile's 3G service (UMTS/HSPA) supports 1700 MHz and 2100 MHz frequencies while AT&T supports 850 MHz and 1900 MHz frequencies. With both the new iPhone 4 and iPhone 3GS supporting 3G at the 2100 MHz frequency, the technical hurdle to support T-Mobile would be minor compared to supporting CDMA technology used by Verizon and Sprint, he said.



Another reason why the analyst believes Apple is poised to broaden availability of the iPhone in the near term is stem adoption of mobile phones based on the Android operating system developed by rival Google. Currently a relatively niche player in the market with just 9% U.S. share, Android's progress to date is believed to be the result of a lack of competitive options from Apple on networks outside of AT&T.



"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," Wu wrote. " Looking at industry data, Android's wins have been where iPhone isn't available and that could change dramatically if the iPhone were available on more carriers."



The Kaufman Bros. analyst reiterated his Buy rating on shares of Apple alongside a $320 price target, saying the Cupertino-based company is best positioned "to outperform in this tough macroeconomic environment with its defensible strategic and structural advantages and its vertical integration."
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 65
    bartfatbartfat Posts: 434member
    No duh. I've been saying that for years iPhone will come to T-Mobile first, thanks for catching up with me, Shaw Wu.



    On the other hand, my AAPL stock is finally starting to grow big
  • Reply 2 of 65
    T-Mobile can utilize the same iPhone hardware.



    Apple will never create a CDMA version for Verizon. Verizon needs to quickly build out its 4G network.....it has to be large enough so that any iPhone can get complete national coverage. This won't happen on Verizon until 2012-2014.
  • Reply 3 of 65
    jerseymacjerseymac Posts: 408member
    Only three days after the keynote and the multiple carrier rumors are starting? If it was going to happen, it would have happened Monday. It would have happened right when the heckler shouted "Verizon."



    Give it up. If you have coverage then bless you, get an iPhone and enjoy it. If you don't have coverage, jump ship and go to a carrier who does. Don't be like AI forum posters and say "I rarely use my iPhone to make calls" or "i use Skype on Wi Fi."



    Don't wait until your stuck on the side of the road with your family late at night and find out you have no coverage in a place that ATT's coverage map says you do. Nothing will sober you up from the Kool Aid faster. Believe it.
  • Reply 4 of 65
    emulatoremulator Posts: 251member
    A Shaw Wu prediction? Just forget it!
  • Reply 5 of 65
    dksmidtxdksmidtx Posts: 13member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Jerseymac View Post


    Only three days after the keynote and the multiple carrier rumors are starting? If it was going to happen, it would have happened Monday. It would have happened right when the heckler shouted "Verizon."



    Give it up. If you have coverage then bless you, get an iPhone and enjoy it. If you don't have coverage, jump ship and go to a carrier who does. Don't be like AI forum posters and say "I rarely use my iPhone to make calls" or "i use Skype on Wi Fi."



    Don't wait until your stuck on the side of the road with your family late at night and find out you have no coverage in a place that ATT's coverage map says you do. Nothing will sober you up from the Kool Aid faster. Believe it.



    People - this is SO dependent upon location. I realize that only San Francisco and NYC can lay claim to being the heart of the universe, but lets be a little realistic once in a while. You can have that same stranded problem if you are on Verizon, Sprint, or T-Mobile from Arizona to Alabama, where straying anywhere off the interstate system leaves you with one bar or less. Where my daughter goes to school in New Haven, there are big holes around town in both AT&T and Verizon coverage.



    And heaven help you if Verizon does get the iPhone before FULL LTE implementation. We will hear interminable complaints about the choking of the data network, AND since CDMA uses fewer towers with larger coverage areas, there will be fewer calls that can be handled in a given area. Every carrier has pluses and minuses, and they are controlled both by footprint and usage. Think beyond your local geography for a minute.
  • Reply 6 of 65
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,729member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    ... it's T-Mobile that stands as the front-runner for the gig rather than Verizon, one investment research firm ....



    Actually, its Verizon.... no wait... its Sprint... no wait.... latests update... it IS Verizon.... uh oh... hang on... no, its T-mobile... not really..s its... its... just Speculation and after several years of the weekly flip flop it is still a big fat YAAAWN.
  • Reply 7 of 65
    patsfan83patsfan83 Posts: 156member
    This is a no-brainer to me for Apple. They are thinking on a global scale, not just the US. Apple won't have to make a new phone, and can make it available to double the amount of US customers that it serves now. While it's impact in the US will be marginal, they can roll this out this year, and then add verizon when it transitions into 4G networks.



    T-Mobile 150 million subscribers

    Verizon 93 million

    ATT 87 million



    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...work_operators
  • Reply 8 of 65
    These analyst ideas?especially Sean Wu ideas, which is a shame because he's so happy about Mac?are hardly even worth reading. It must be nice to get paid a good wage to come up with strange ideas about companies?sometimes interesting but completely unsubstantiated, sometimes painfully obvious?but never to be held to all the many failed and wildly off-base predictions. He's not even useful for investing...
  • Reply 9 of 65
    benicebenice Posts: 382member
    Even if we don't accept everything this point is pretty important. And they are definitely thinking about maximising reach globally... they've hinted enough about Nokia and other aspects to make it clear.



    "Looking at industry data, Android's wins have been where iPhone isn't available and that could change dramatically if the iPhone were available on more carriers"




    Apple haven't quite said this on earnings calls but they have said that every time they add a new carrier growth is exponential.
  • Reply 10 of 65
    jonrojonro Posts: 65member
    T-Mobile would get the iPhone before Verizon? Just because they use the same protocols as AT&T and dozens of other carriers around the world that sell the iPhone? Are you sure you want to go out on a limb with a prediction like that?
  • Reply 11 of 65
    jerseymacjerseymac Posts: 408member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by dksmidtx View Post


    People - this is SO dependent upon location. I realize that only San Francisco and NYC can lay claim to being the heart of the universe, but lets be a little realistic once in a while. You can have that same stranded problem if you are on Verizon, Sprint, or T-Mobile from Arizona to Alabama, where straying anywhere off the interstate system leaves you with one bar or less. Where my daughter goes to school in New Haven, there are big holes around town in both AT&T and Verizon coverage.



    And heaven help you if Verizon does get the iPhone before FULL LTE implementation. We will hear interminable complaints about the choking of the data network, AND since CDMA uses fewer towers with larger coverage areas, there will be fewer calls that can be handled in a given area. Every carrier has pluses and minuses, and they are controlled both by footprint and usage. Think beyond your local geography for a minute.



    First of all, you can't say the problem is only in San Francisco and New York. We now know the problem is in Texas too from watching the D8 speech. And I have a feeling it's in other places too.



    Second of all, if the iPhone was on multiple carriers, the burden would be eased. The only ones who can't see this simple logic are ATT stockholders who know that if the iPhone was on other carriers they would loose money. (shudder)



    Third of all, no one knows what your talking about with CDMA and LTE. Apple products are for "mere mortals" who want it to "just work." That has always been Apple's position on technology. So simple to use, my 100 hear old Grandmother can use it.



    Forth of all, when I was stranded, a good Samaritan stopped and let me borrow his Verizon phone to call the AAA club and guess what? It worked just fine. So Verizon has some kinda trick when it comes to making phone calls on a cell phone that ATT needs to learn.



    So I will think beyond my local geography if you will think beyond your stock portfolio.
  • Reply 12 of 65
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by PatsFan83 View Post


    This is a no-brainer to me for Apple. They are thinking on a global scale, not just the US. Apple won't have to make a new phone, and can make it available to double the amount of US customers that it serves now. While it's impact in the US will be marginal, they can roll this out this year, and then add verizon when it transitions into 4G networks.



    T-Mobile 150 million subscribers

    Verizon 93 million

    ATT 87 million



    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...work_operators



    *facepalm*

    Rudimentary math will tell you that you have made a gross error.



    Look back at that wiki article. What flag is next to T-Mobile? Thats because the total subscribers is their international total. They have 33.something million subscribers in the usa and are in 4th place.
  • Reply 13 of 65
    core2core2 Posts: 49member
    In Europe , both uplink and downlink are in the 2100 band. In North America, the uplink is in the 1700 band and the downlink is in the 2100 band, just because the 2100 frequency is supported for Europe does not mean it will work in T-Mobile as you require both bands (1700 and 2100) to support the North American flavour.
  • Reply 14 of 65
    cincyteecincytee Posts: 418member
    Quote:

    While its inevitable...



    Really? In the lead? "While it's inevitable...."
  • Reply 15 of 65
    svesan03svesan03 Posts: 61member
    I dumped them years ago because of their lousy reception issues in and around certain parts of Los Angeles. Verizon would be the only carrier I'm interested in. T Mobile sucks and blows, or at least they used to, and I haven't heard much different so I'm wondering why Apple would want "2" lousy carriers instead of one? They're great in Europe for coverage because they are owned by Deutsche Telekom, but I wouldn't want them in the States.
  • Reply 16 of 65
    davegeedavegee Posts: 2,765member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jonro View Post


    T-Mobile would get the iPhone before Verizon? Just because they use the same protocols as AT&T and dozens of other carriers around the world that sell the iPhone? Are you sure you want to go out on a limb with a prediction like that?



    Lets give this guy SOME credit.. he likely consulted a dozen of the top technologists his firm employes as well as the star charts and finally Madam Sylva's 1-900-TECH-PREDICTIONS-R-US line.



    SO he's certainly done his due diligence.
  • Reply 17 of 65
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by PatsFan83 View Post


    This is a no-brainer to me for Apple. They are thinking on a global scale, not just the US. Apple won't have to make a new phone, and can make it available to double the amount of US customers that it serves now. While it's impact in the US will be marginal, they can roll this out this year, and then add verizon when it transitions into 4G networks.



    T-Mobile 150 million subscribers

    Verizon 93 million

    ATT 87 million



    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...work_operators



    You choose the wrong Wiki link.
    That doesn't mean it's still not a no-brainer. T-Mobile USA with slightly over 1/3 the user base of Verizon for adding this tiny and inexpensive 1700MHz band chip to the phone compared to making an entirely new phone that supports CDMA-based networks from top to bottom.



    The question isn't which is the easiest and cheapest to support, the question is why haven't they supported it yet? Apple will sometimes add HW that they don't advertise for whatever reason. I suppose it's possible the iPhone 4 has a fifth UMTS band to support 1700MHz but it's simply not listed because they are bound to AT&T until a certain date. We'll know by the 25th when iFixit does a teardown.
  • Reply 18 of 65
    inklinginkling Posts: 773member
    Going T-Mobile would be a very good move on Apple's part, particularly if both parties would agree to show flexibility. T-Mobile coverage may come up lacking in rural areas, but it's quite good in large cities such as Seattle where I live. They also have some highly competitive rates and plans. I know people who're quite happy on T-Mobile with iPhones despite the added hassles of unauthorized unlocking.



    As a half-way step, Apple could do what they should have done long ago--unlock all iPhones whose contract times have expired. AT&T has paid its fair share of those iPhone's cost and has no right to hold those iPhone owners hostage.



    Apple would benefit from the move in several ways. First, it'd be a quick way to give AT&T some much-needed competition. The unlocking could be done in a few days and the resulting move of customers away from AT&T would send a powerful message. And that move would be greatest in major cities where T-Mobile's coverage is the best and AT&T's coverage is the poorest.



    Second, it'd be a quick and simple way to bring people who don't want or can't afford the combo iPhone + AT&T plan into the Apple camp. They'd buy a legitimately unlocked iPhone secondhand and sign up with T-Mobile. Apple would not get money directly, but they'd gain all-important market share at the expense of Google/Android. Market share now will mean future sales as that secondhand iPhone ages.



    Third, Apple would sell more of the new generation of iPhones in certain situations. Why? Because there are a lot of people who'd get a new iPhone if they knew a way to make good use of their old iPhone. Imagine parents whose teen-or-college-aged child has been hassling them to pass own their old but still cool iPhone. Those parents might hesitate if the costs of passing on includes AT&T's pricey iPhone plan. But they'd be delighted to do so if it means that old iPhone shifts to a much cheaper T-Mobile plan.



    In exchange, T-Mobile should offer attractive data plans for these unlocked iPhones. Since they can't compete in data speed or nationwide coverage, they should compete with price and flexibility. There's an untapped market of people who need something more than WiFi but don't need a monthly plan that includes 200 megs of data or more. I'm in that camp. I'd be delighted to have a plan that'd let me occasionally check live bus routing data or send email on the go. For that, a $20/month data plan makes no sense, but I'd happily pay more per byte if I could be charged only for actual usage, with that cost either added to a monthly flat-rate voice bill or subtracted from a pre-pay plan. It'd be a win/win situation for both. T-Mobile would get more income; people would get a data service they actually want.



    In short, the quickest and easiest thing Apple could do to enhance their competitive advantage over Google is to unlock all those out-of-contract iPhones.
  • Reply 19 of 65
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by dksmidtx View Post


    People - this is so dependent upon location. I realize that only san francisco and nyc can lay claim to being the heart of the universe, but lets be a little realistic once in a while. You can have that same stranded problem if you are on verizon, sprint, or t-mobile from arizona to alabama, where straying anywhere off the interstate system leaves you with one bar or less. Where my daughter goes to school in new haven, there are big holes around town in both at&t and verizon coverage.



    And heaven help you if verizon does get the iphone before full lte implementation. We will hear interminable complaints about the choking of the data network, and since cdma uses fewer towers with larger coverage areas, there will be fewer calls that can be handled in a given area. Every carrier has pluses and minuses, and they are controlled both by footprint and usage. Think beyond your local geography for a minute.



    thank you!!
  • Reply 20 of 65
    ivladivlad Posts: 742member
    After AT&T contract expires in 2012.
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