T-Mobile CEO says don’t hold your breath for a MetroPCS iPhone

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T-Mobile and MetroPCS completed their merger yesterday, combining the 4th and 5th largest carriers in the United States. And we figured this would be good news for the latter company’s 9M+ subscribers, as they’d finally get a shot at the iPhone.

But not so fast, says T-Mobile’s John Legere. Speaking with tech blog AllThingsD, the CEO said that while he thinks it’s possible that MetroPCS might be able to offer the popular device at some point, there are currently no immediate plans to do so…

AllThingsD’s Ina Fried reports:

“As for the iPhone coming to MetroPCS, Legere said it’s a possibility, but not a foregone conclusion.“The answer to that is not ‘No,’” Legere said, but added, “It’s not imminent; I think that’s safe to say.”

There are two big factors. One is how T-Mobile decides it wants to position the two brands and manage its marketing. “It’s also something that involves Apple,” Legere said, but added that “we’ve started those dialogues with our partners.”

The problem is that MetroPCS runs on a CDMA network, which is completely different technology than the GSM tech that T-Mobile uses. So essentially, Apple would have to create a whole new iPhone model to accomodate MetroPCS customers.

T-Mobile itself just started carrying the iPhone last month. And Legere says initial sales of the smartphone have “exceeded expectations,” though he refused to give any specifics. He also noted that the carrier is seeing tremendous feedback on their ‘uncarrier’ campaign.

As for a MetroPCS-flavored iPhone, it sounds like we won’t see one until at least the next iPhone lands—which isn’t expected to happen until the late summer or early fall. Of course, if a Metro customer wanted an iPhone bad enough, they could always switch over to T-Mobile.