T-Mobile will be next U.S. iPhone carrier, analyst says
Other experts still say Verizon Wireless, as the largest U.S. carrier, will follow AT&T
Computerworld - Kaufman Brothers investment analyst Shaw Wu today contended that T-Mobile USA, not Verizon Wireless, will be the next U.S. carrier to sell Apple Inc.'s popular iPhone.
In a research note e-mailed to subscribers on Thursday, Wu said that T-Mobile, like current exclusive carrier AT&T, runs a GSM network. The GSM networks of the carriers run on different frequency bands.
Meanwhile, Verizon, the nation's largest carrier, and Sprint Nextel both run CDMA networks, which would require changes to the current iPhone technology.
Wu also said the new iPhone 4, shipping on June 24, will support 3G speeds used by T-Mobile.
Wu also argued that T-Mobile is a sizable carrier with 34 million subscribers. He added that Apple needs an additional carrier to compete with coming Android phones supported by Google.
"Looking at industry data, Android's wins have been where iPhone isn't available," Wu said in his note. "That could change dramatically if the iPhone were available on more carriers."
Most analysts expect that Verizon will be the next iPhone carrier, perhaps by as early as this fall, but more likely in 2011.
Jack Gold of J. Gold Associates, questioned Wu's reasoning in predicting that T-Mobile will be next iPhone carrier.
Gold said that among manufacturers, Apple is virtually alone in not making CDMA phones, so "getting an iPhone on Verizon should not be much of a problem."
He added that Verizon has a much larger U.S. installed base than T-Mobile -- 93 million subscribers -- and a larger marketing budget. (By comparison, second place AT&T has 87 million subscribers, Sprint has 47 million. T-Mobile USA is the fourth largest carrier with 34 million.)
Gold also argued that T-Mobile in the U.S. has the "least 3G capability," although T-Mobile has widely promoted its network upgrades in recent months "T-Mobile is expanding, but not on par with AT&T, Verizon or even Sprint," Gold said. "So if Apple has problems with iPhone on AT&T,what would it be like on T-Mobile?"
Gold did list one reason that T-Mobile USA might be the next to carry the iPhone: It is a subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom in Germany and Apple could conceivably work out a combination deal to allow T-Mobile to sell the iPhone worldwide.
Other analysts have noted that many other factors are involved in how the iPhone will be sold going forward, including the upgrade path to 4G networks, specifically LTE, which both AT&T and Verizon are moving to. In fact, Verizon plans to have an LTE network later this year. T-Mobile is also on a path to LTE, while Sprint's 4G approach, already rolling out, is Wimax.
Wu's analysis was not only based on the logic of T-Mobile running GSM and related factors, but also on statements made by "sources" who said T-Mobile is more likely to agree to Apple's terms for selling the iPhone because it most needs to win back lost customers.
T-Mobile USA and Apple did not respond to requests to comment on Wu's note.
Editor's note: This story was changed since it was originally posted to delete references to frequency bands that the iPhone 4 supports.
Matt Hamblen covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld. Follow Matt on Twitter at @matthamblen, or subscribe to Matt's RSS feed . His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read more about Mobile/Wireless in Computerworld's Mobile/Wireless Topic Center.
- 15 Non-Certified IT Skills Growing in Demand
- How 19 Tech Titans Target Healthcare
- Twitter Suffering From Growing Pains (and Facebook Comparisons)
- Agile Comes to Data Integration
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
- The Critical Role of Support in Your Enterprise Mobility Management Strategy Most business leaders underestimate the importance of tech support when they choose an EMM solution. Here's what to put on your checklist.
- Separating Work and Personal at the Platform Level: How BlackBerry Balance Works BlackBerry® Balance™ separates work from personal on the same mobile device, right at a platform level. Find out how it can work for...
- Protection for Every Enterprise: How BlackBerry Security Works Get an IT-level review of BlackBerry® Security, addressing data leakage protection, certified encryption, containerization and much more.
- Future Focus: What's Coming in Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) Find out why Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) solutions that are truly future-ready must be designed to enable Machine-to-Machine (M2M) capabilities and much more.
- Live Webcast On-demand webinar: "Mobility Mayhem: Balancing BYOD with Enterprise Security" Check out this on-demand webinar to hear Sophos senior security expert John Shier deep dive into how BYOD impacts your enterprise security strategy...
- Live Webcast Unmasking the Differences between Consumer and Enterprise File Sync & Share The consumerization of IT combined with the rapid pace of the modern mobile workplace is forcing enterprise IT teams to evaluate file sync...
- Live Webcast Workforce Mobilization for Improved Productivity A mobility research director from Aberdeen discusses reasons for extending legacy applications to mobile devices, and an integration strategist from Attachmate shows how...
- Getting Ready for BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10.2 Find out how BlackBerry® Enterprise Service 10 helps organizations address the full spectrum of EMM challenges, while balancing the needs of both the...
- Containerization Options: How to Choose the Best DLP Solution for Your Organization This webcast outlines a framework for making the right choice when it comes to containerization approaches, along with the pros and cons of... All Mobile/Wireless White Papers | Webcasts