T-Mobile reportedly has iPhone 5 response in the works

By , Sep 3, 2012

T-Mobile USA, the nation’s third-largest telco and the only major U.S. carrier with no official iPhone offering, is allegedly looking to counter Apple’s rumored September 12 introduction of a sixth-generation iPhone and the subsequent September 21 availability.

The word on the street is that the carrier is putting in motion its mysterious “iPhone Response — Phase 2″ plan, scheduled for September 21 through October 1. If true, this new intel points away from a T-Mobile iPhone, just as Sanford C. Bernstein’s analyst Craig Moffett opined back in July

David Beren, reporting for TmoNews, the unofficial T-Mobile blog:

Unfortunately, we have no idea what Phase 1 is or when or if it has already occurred, so our information on “Phase 2″ is even more limited.

More importantly, we’re having a hard time believing anyone could see the joint evidence of T-Mobile preparing reps to sell against the product and preparing a “response” plan and still believe they will be announced as the last of the four national carriers to partner with Apple.

The news report is based on the below image showing that the carrier is prepping their “iPhone Response — Phase 2″ for September 21 through October 1.

The story arrives hot on the heels of yesterday’s report, also by TmoNews, saying T-Mobile is about to launch a “Bring Your iPhone to T-Mobile” campaign in an effort to bring unlocked iPhone customers into its retail stores.

Though it has been buying some much-needed AWS spectrum from Verizon and testing its iPhone-friendly data service at WWDC, the Deutsche Telekom-owned carrier sadly remains the sole major U.S. wireless company lacking the iPhone presence.

The Bellevue, Washington-headquartered carrier has nearly 40 million subscribers. Despite not being an official partner, T-Mobile USA sees a lot of business from unlocked iPhone users and they’re even offering support to unlockers.

For example, it will be offering updated Micro SIM kits beginning August 29 to support unlocked iPhones on its refarmed 3G spectrum. At the same time, T-Mobile USA is telling its retail employees to sell against the iPhone.

Hm, where have I heard that before?

(AT&T, too, by the way).

A T-Mobile USA engineer confirmed last month that his company hosts a cool million iPhones, stressing that Apple’s device is “a significant part of the modernization project”, adding that “once implemented, iPhones will work on U1900 at much higher speeds”.

Beginning Wednesday, T-Mobile will start offering new unlimited, unthrottled data plans, unlike rival AT&T and Verizon which recently switched to shared data plans. These plans will work in conjunction with 4G data speeds, which in T-Mobile’s terminology means 3G HSPA+.

Unfortunately, the carrier is behind AT&T, Verizon and Sprint in 4G LTE deployment. That being said, costly infrastructure upgrades is only half of the problem.

Apparently, T-Mobile’s parent company is still looking to come to terms with Apple.

As you know, doing business with Cupertino requires carriers to commit themselves to billions in upfront payments, a risk Deutsche Telekom is not willing to make, especially considering its financial woes and that failed merger with AT&T.

Is T-Mobile going to land the iPhone this or next year, what do you think?

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  • chjode

    As soon as T-Mobile’s spectrum supports the iPhone in my area, I’m jumping to one of their pre-paid plans. I can’t stand shelling out $80/month to AT&T.

    • http://www.andrewcassone.tk/ NY Andrew

      GO WITH VIRGIN MOBILE! YOU WON’T BE DISAPPOINTED! :)

      • chjode

        Virgin is one of the options I’m considering this fall. I’m looking at StraightTalk, Virgin Mobile, and T-Mobile, but I want the new iPhone so I may have to wait a bit to see who supports the new iPhone. If nothing else, I know it will work on StraightTalk as that’s just AT&T. T-Mobile is a question because of the frequency and Virgin Mobile didn’t get the iPhone 4/4S until just this past summer.

      • Daniel Spinner

        Virgin uses Sprint’s network don’t waste your time.

      • http://www.andrewcassone.tk/ NY Andrew

        Yea StraightTalk seems to be gaining some good ground lately (or should I say air lol..). I’ve always stayed away from T-Mobile because the bad things I’ve heard about it, and so I chose Virgin 4 months ago with an Android phone and was impressed, then once that iPhone came out, I bought it immediately and haven’t been dissapointed once! I’ve never had any text problems, dropped calls, bad call quality, or outrageously slow data, so honestly I don’t understand why every complains about PrePaid and yes it uses Sprint’s network, so? Sprint has gotten better and I like the fact that they aren’t doing what AT&T and Verizon have done with that stupid Data Share sh*t.

      • Daniel Spinner

        Depends on where you live at! Here in Fl I can’t even use my native maps app because my data is so slow at times.

      • http://www.andrewcassone.tk/ NY Andrew

        True. I went to Florida last year and noticed that. You would think in the 21st century we wouldn’t have these problems anymore.. Plus these companies r mega rich and ur tellin me they can’t afford a couple more towers? Idk it just isn’t right.

      • Daniel Spinner

        I agree!

      • http://www.andrewcassone.tk/ NY Andrew

        Yea StraightTalk seems to be gaining some good ground lately (or should I say air lol..). I’ve always stayed away from T-Mobile because the bad things I’ve heard about it, and so I chose Virgin 4 months ago with an Android phone and was impressed, then once that iPhone came out, I bought it immediately and haven’t been dissapointed once! I’ve never had any text problems, dropped calls, bad call quality, or outrageously slow data, so honestly I don’t understand why every complains about PrePaid and yes it uses Sprint’s network, so? Sprint has gotten better and I like the fact that they aren’t doing what AT&T and Verizon have done with that stupid Data Share sh*t

      • http://twitter.com/x_rus_x Vitaliy Anonymous

        I have T-Mobile, and I have never had any problems, no dropped calls, no text problems either.

    • http://twitter.com/MCaudebec Maxim∑

      yeah Im tired of AT&t to

    • http://www.facebook.com/ishmael.tobas Ishmael Tobas

      Man I been on Prepaid for about 3 years now, its so worth it, unlimited talk and text for $50, its not that hard to get a card and who cares if its prepaid its smarter than paying what everybody else is cause they dont wanna settle for less.

  • anasiatka

    It makes more sense for them to focus their expenses on upgrading their network and save the costs for purchasing the iPhones to the other carriers – I think they are making the right decision not to purchase/sell the iPhone. Think about it, it is pure profit if they just offer the plans that too many people strive for but can not get. Unlimited data, unthrottled data and all along letting AT&T and Verizon pay for the actual phones. In fact, I may consider switching to their network as long as it is faster than AT&T’s EDGE i.e. throttled speeds I am getting now,

  • http://twitter.com/oneBurge Burge

    I’ll say this is about people buying second hand 4s and putting them on T-mobile after the i5 is out.. Or something like that ..

  • http://twitter.com/WvB22 Walter van Bergen

    Strange situation actually. Especially when you think that T-Mobile was the preferred carrier in many countries across Europe when the iPhone 3G (first worldwide iPhone remember) hit the market.

  • http://twitter.com/Jsal017 Javier Salinas

    I wonder if it would be possible for tmobile to work out a deal with apple to just unlock iPhones for customers

  • http://twitter.com/aomia syler

    am i the only one that saw the “unthrottled data”? if this is true this might be enough reason for me to leave att.

    • http://www.facebook.com/stanley.derochea Stanley Derochea

      I am grandfathered in with the unlimited which is 5gb but once I reach 3gb they throttle my speed (throttle literally means no speed at all) I can’t even load a web page. AT&T is a crooked co. They told me it wouldn’t affect my web browsing or email but it does. They completely block me from using Any data at all after the 3gb is reached. I AM DEFINANTLY LOOKING FOR AN ALTERNATE CARRIER that doesn’t throttle and will never throttle

  • Winski

    So here is a snippet from a conversation I had with T-Mumble support on Aug. 22 this year…
    ‘Me: On the new 4g plans announced today. If I bring in a new iPhone the end of next month, and ask to switch my current mo. To mo. Service over to a NEW un-limited Value plan for voice, text and data, I could do that, BUT I shouldn’t expect good performance on which part of the network?
    !Vladimir H: That would be correct, Ron. We can’t guarantee the performance for the iPhone device, specially for the data service. Anything else for today?’

    They CANNOT even get in the game with ooze coming from their folks… They don’t want in this business. ACTIONS speak louder than words and they have NOTHING but press spin…

    • http://www.3sixtydegreescouting.com/ Greg Braddock

      That’s why I didn’t go with them a year ago. They told me back then that the phone would only work on Edge and I’d have to “cut down” a sim card. Seems they still aren’t too far from that conversation.

      • http://twitter.com/TheKTWalker Keenon Walker

        I think Tmobile put a lot of blind faith in Windows and Android. Though android has some iphone ass kicking features, they still can’t compete. Plus, I don’t think they realize we Apple fans want Apple products. He’ll, the only reason AT&T has so many customers is because they had iphone exclusively for so long!

        They have micro sims now, so I guess they are taking baby steps.

  • http://twitter.com/x_rus_x Vitaliy Anonymous

    As soon as I read “Hm, where have I heard that before?”, I was like, “oh crap, I guess Christian Zibreg wasn’t laid off from iDownloadblog….not good.

  • sivigamer

    T-Mobile should do whatever it can to get the iPhone. There are tons of iPhone customers like me who would switch to T-Mobile if it was an option.

  • http://www.facebook.com/gene.jaleski Gene Jaleski

    LTE and data caps are headed for a collision this year. People think LTE is for their benefit.WRONG! LTE is cheaper for the carriers to operate. AT&T/Verizon are just doing what legislated monopolies do – use their leverage to make money.

    WiFi will ultimately be the access mode that will replace much of the currently cellular-based data.traffic. We all already use VOIP phones and Skype/Line2. Pretty soon people will realize they do not need a cellular voice plan. That is why the meanies are capping data – to head off voice plan defections. You are forced to pay for something you use less and less – thus costing the carriers less and less. Not a bad deal for ATT/Verizon.

  • Greg

    Ridiculously awful customer service, terrible reception, second rate phones, bad plans… They won’t be around long.

    I got roped into T Mobile based on price of plan and a special they were doing on the RAZOR… yes when that was cutting edge tech. My credit card size phone fell out of my pocket at a conference, i went to the police station 2 hours later to report it stolen… The thief ran up $600 in RINGTONES in the time it took me to get to a land-line. Manager from T-Mobile was over the top rude to me and treat me like a criminal myself with some sick desire to actually scam $600 in ringtones. 2-3 managers after that were just as bad… I still to this day see that ridiculous charge against my credit report.

    STAY AWAY FROM T-MOBILE… not that people are really flocking that way anyways.

    • http://twitter.com/TheKTWalker Keenon Walker

      As a former Tmobile employee, I don’t see how that could’ve happened. I have personally handled several issues just like yours, and the customer was always handled with care. If you went to the police and filed a report, legally you would not be responsible for those charges, and with a few mouse clicks care could remove those charges. Furthermore, there is a trial window test the service. Most people know within two or three days if the service is a good fit for them. As far as the plans go, after Alltel was absorbed by Verizon, Tmobile has consistently stomped the price point of the other major carriers. Lastly, not every provider works everywhere. I don’t live in a large city. It has been my experience that the service is much better in larger. Tmobile took a while to get 4G service, but now we have it.

      I’m sorry you had a bad experience, but you can’t place 100% of the blame on an entire company after on bad experience. I promise if you had taken the time to work up the chain those managers would have been dealt with and you wouldn’t have a $600 write off on your credit report.

  • http://www.facebook.com/coryjones510 Cory Jones

    I have been with t-mobile for 9 years..but I’m getting antsy about the iPhone…I don’t like at&t but I want a iPhone. I carry s galaxy s3 and its ok..but is not what I want

  • http://www.facebook.com/jamie.jonson.54 Desi King

    there are millions of TMobile customers with iphones already and millions just waiting for it. As soon as they sort out the data, ie. you can use an unlocked iphone at fast 4g speeds properly on TMobile i suspect millions will make the switch even if TMobile doesnt officially sell the iphone. The problem has always been that if you use an unlocked iphone on TM you ahve to use 2G, noone uses 2G anymore its far too slow. Sort out the data and TM will win big even without Apples official rubberstamp.

  • ms

    unfortunately i can’t wait until next year. i HATE my HTC Sensation droid and i want the iPhone. if they can’t get a solution soon i’m going to Sprint.