Talking tech since 2003

Time and time again we have heard rumors that the Apple iPhone is or was going to be made available for use on the Verizon mobile network.  This is because of a great lack of satisfaction on the part of current and prospective iPhone owners who were unhappy with the device being limited to the AT&T network.  However, each and every time a rumor of these sort surfaced, the iPhone always remained exclusive to AT&T’s network.  But now, rumors are now surfacing the the iPhone will indeed be made available another wireless network; T-Mobile.

While it’s unclear exactly where this rumor has originated from, it is claimed that the notion of the famed iPhone becoming available on the T-Mobile network has supposedly been validated by an unnamed high-roller at T-Mobile.  Previous rumors about iPhone carriers have lead us to be weary of this kind of rumor, however if this particular rumor is true, the iPhone (now in version 4), will be made available on T-Mobiles wireless network within the first half of 2011, and possibly as early as autumn of this year.

There are several reasons why it would be beneficial for T-Mobile to carry the iPhone.  First off, T-Mobile is a somewhat large network, but is not as big as AT&T or Verizon.  Because of this, the T-Mobile network is likely to be less congested (because they have fewer users), and could potentially allow for users to take full advantage of the bandwidth-heavy iPhone.  This is a concept that I previously covered when talking about how the iPhone could perform if it’s workload was spread amongst multiple mobile networks.  Additionally, T-Mobile’s being a smaller wireless network means that Apple may have better negotiating powers with them, and that they can potentially control the network a bit more.

At the same time, the same components that make T-Mobile a potentially strong network for the iPhone could make the mobile network unqualified to be able to handle it.  Having said this, the iPhone is highly data-intensive, and will likely stress T-Mobile’s network just like it did AT&T’s.  However, because of the fact that the T-Mobile network is smaller, the stress would likely be much greater unless some serious steps were taken to ensure that the network was able to handle the bandwidth required by the phones.  Also, with fewer customers, T-Mobile does not have the same negotiation power that AT&T has when negotiating pricing for the phones.  This means that even if the iPhone were to be made available on the T-Mobile network, it would possibly be priced higher than on the AT&T network, but that would be an unlikely occurrence since Apple is very much a control freak when it comes to pricing and selling their products.

Last but not least, you have to consider that AT&T is the exclusive carrier for the iPhone for a reason: they have a contract.  Because of this, Apple would have to either breach the contract or find a way out of it in order to make the iPhone available on other networks.

But, at the end of the day, anything is possible in the world we live in, and this rumor may just be the one that comes true.  I mean, T-Mobile is the wireless carrier for the iPhone in Germany after all.


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