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T-Mobile doesn't want to spend billions just to get the iPhone like some competitors did

With the massive popularity of Apple's iPhone, you would think every carrier in the United States would want the device on their network. Verizon, AT&T, Sprint offer the iPhone, as do several smaller regional carriers. However, T-Mobile isn’t officially on the iPhone bandwagon yet.

A T-Mobile executive as recently stated that the carrier knows it has lost customers by not carrying the iPhone, but it's not willing to make major sacrifices just to get the device on its network.

Jim Alling, COO of T-Mobile USA, said, "Make no mistake about it: We would love to carry the iPhone. However, we want the economies to be right for us."
Alling also noted that T-Mobile didn't want to sign a deal similar to its competitors. Fierce Broadband and Wireless reports that Alling is making a veiled reference to a deal Sprint made to carry the iPhone in 2011 that cost $15.5 billion. Sprint doesn't expect its iPhone operations to become profitable until 2015.

Apple iPhone 5

Alling did note that T-Mobile's SIM-only Value Plans have attracted numerous iPhone owners from other networks. He said that there are 1.5 million unlocked iPhones operating on the T-Mobile network right now.

The comments were made during a discussion at the 12th annual Morgan Stanley Technology, Media & Telecoms Conference in Spain. Some comments were also made about T-Mobile and its upcoming merger with MetroPCS. That merger is expected to take place early next year and it seems both T-Mobile and MetroPCS feel the same way about offering the iPhone.

Metro PCS COO Tom Keys said last summer, "It would be harmful to MetroPCS to have to cut out part of our handset portfolio to accommodate one phone from one provider that the economics could be at risk."

Source: Fierce Broadband and Wireless

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By mcnabney on 11/21/2012 11:52:16 AM , Rating: 3
Not just that. Sprint agreed to both a high price for the device (over $600) and a high quantity. So they have to buy millions of iPhones whether they can sell them or not. This is of particular concern for Sprint because the iPhone5 is LTE, not Wimax. Sprint has a very very very small LTE footprint and customers not lucky enough to be in one of those markets will be stuck using EVDO which is extremely overused on Sprint - think dial-up speeds. Sprint's deal to get the iPhone will sink the company if they can't sell every device that they have committed to buying and use those sales to attract customers.

By name99 on 11/21/2012 2:34:50 PM , Rating: 2
What you have said is true, but Sprint are their own worst enemies in this regard, because their plans have refused to adjust to this reality.

VZW plans are expensive --- but they can get away with it because their infrastructure is pretty good.
ATT know (and their customers know) that their infrastructure sucks, but they have compensated by keeping their plans (at least at the low-end) reasonably priced.

Sprint want to charge VZW prices while offering a sub-ATT network. This is not a strategy that is going to attract many users. And it hasn't.

Apple, through a move you can consider part of their always helping customers, or you can consider their always willing to screw over the carriers, made this very clear when you bought an iPhone 5. The web site explained in very clear English (vastly more clear than ATT, VZW and Sprint's pages) exactly what plans each of the three offered, what it gave you, and what it cost.

"I want people to see my movies in the best formats possible. For [Paramount] to deny people who have Blu-ray sucks!" -- Movie Director Michael Bay

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