Well, what the heck is going on? First, we hear that T-Mobile is stocking iPhone docking cables and now we’re seeing evidence that T-Mobile is sending customers microSIM cards. Does this mean that an Apple iPhone 4 or iPad is on the way for the nation’s fourth-largest carrier?
The parent company of T-Mobile has said that the lack of the Apple iPhone 4 is hurting its business. Additionally, the only major devices in the United States which use the MicroSIM standard are the Apple iPhone 4 and the iPad tablet.
Of course, the problem with this “evidence” is that it’s all quite circumstantial and the current Apple iPhone 4 wouldn’t work on T-Mobile’s faster mobile data networks because of the way its radios are set up. In order to take advantage of the T-Mobile “4G” network, it would likely need a retooling to support the right bands. That’s not out of the realm of possibility, as the Nokia N8 has pentaband capabilities.
An Apple iPhone on T-Mobile would seem like a natural fit, as it would be easier to retool the device for a GSM network than to rework it for a CDMA network. Still, we’ve heard loud rumors that the Apple smartphone is definitely hitting Verizon in early 2011, so maybe Steve Jobs is going for true domination.
This device has been a massive hit and the company sold more than 14 million units last quarter but there is still some strong competition from the Android platform, which is outselling other platforms in the United States. If the Apple iPhone can land on T-Mobile, Verizon and still be on AT&T, it will definitely be bringing the fight to Android on multiple fronts.
It will be interesting to see where this handset winds up after so many years of being locked in to AT&T. There are reports that Apple could double its market share by going to multiple carriers, although it may lose a bit of profit margin.
[Update] Well, it looks like that speculation was all for naught, or at least T-Mobile is trying to squash this bug as quickly as possible. The company told us in a prepared statement:
Select T-Mobile stores will soon begin carrying iPod/iPhone charge and Sync cables to support customers who may be using an unlocked iPhone or are traveling from outside the United States and using an iPhone while roaming on our network. T-Mobile carries the iPhone in Europe, so many people traveling to the U.S. roam on our network with their iPhones. The iPod/iPhone cable also makes a great companion product for our line of MicroUSB charging solutions. The cable can be plugged into the USB port of the universal MicroUSB car, wall or two-in-one chargers to provide customers with a charging solution for their iPod when they are on the go.
Hmmm, so the carrier is trying to be nice to a subset of users who have the unlocked iPhone? That’s fairly odd and it doesn’t explain the microSIM. I’ll tell you when we know more.