iPhone 3GS, not iPhone 4, to land at T-Mobile later this year?

Place this one in the ” I will believe when I see it” category. According to Chris Anderson of Wired Magazine, a T-Mobile manager casually mentioned to him that T-Mobile will be getting the iPhone 3GS later this year. While the iPhone rumor has come a gone a few times, this is the first time the iPhone 3GS has been rumored to hit Magenta this year. It takes a stretch of the imagination to believe that this may materialize, unless, of course, rolling back to the earlier model is Apple’s strategy for handling its iPhone 4 antenna issue.

Seriously though, I highly doubt that T-Mobile will be offering the iPhone 3GS anytime soon. Even the iPhone 4 is a long shot as we have not heard any credible rumors to suggest Apple is prepping an iPhone with T-Mobile’s 1700MHz 3G band. Unlike the CDMA iPhone rumors which are detailed and come from major players like the Wall Street Journal or Bloomberg, the bulk of the T-Mobile rumors are vague and originate from a store manager or a store employee. Interestingly enough, the one carrier not rumored to be getting the iPhone is Sprint; make of that what you will.

Of the four major carriers, T-Mobile is least likely to snag the iPhone and break the stranglehold AT&T has on Apple’s popular smartphone. T-Mobile is the #4 carrier and has neither the customer base nor the 3G coverage of its larger competitors. If Apple wants to continue its exponential growth, it needs to partner with Verizon and offer a CDMA or LTE variant of the iPhone. Anyone willing to wager on this T-Mobile rumor or is Verizon a lock to get the iPhone?

[via 9to5Mac and Twitter]

  • Justin

    I disagree….
    T-Mobile may not have the largest 3G network but they can certainly handle the iPhone’s data demands because of the optimal AWS frequencies allowing them to make each data cycle more efficient (each cycle powering 10 iPhones instead of just 3)

    Overall, T-Mobile is a good choice, no change from GSM to CDMA, confusing the market (except for the 3G part) and T-Mobile has the best prices in the US just no phones good enough. They’d be a great carrier to partner with.

    They have the most flexible plans (FlexPay anyone?)

  • Mr Windows

    Much easier to add 1700Mghz than change architecture to CDMA, and get some additional life out of a legacy platform, and provide some competition for AT&T so they will continue to bend to Steve’s will…
    I predicted this would happen in another discussion, and also prognosticated that Verizon may try to buy T-Mo as a leg up into GSM/LTE. Big Red has a jumpstart on LTE deployment, T-Mo has bandwidth and too few customers to take advantage of it.

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