A T-Mobile executive said on Tuesday that becoming an Apple partner carrier would be too costly, but admitted not having the iPhone available for sale has driven away potential customers and some of the 1.5 million existing subscribers using unlocked version of the handset on the telecom's network.
Less than one month after Apple's iPhone 5 went on sale through official U.S. partner carriers AT&T, Verizon and Sprint, the nation's fourth-largest wireless company T-Mobile has reportedly taken shipment of nano-SIM cards capable of bringing the hot-selling handset to the telecom's network.
For the first time since it launched last October, Apple's iPhone 4S was not the top selling smartphone in the U.S., as the newly released Samsung Galaxy S III took the top spot in the month of August.
Fourth-largest U.S. wireless carrier T-Mobile could use a sales agreement from its parent company Deutsche Telekom AG to carry Apple's iPhone on its network sometime in 2013 which may help the network turn around slumping profits.
Previous Galaxy smartphones had different brand names at different U.S. carriers that potentially confused consumers, prompting Samsung to brand its latest flagship smartphone as just the Galaxy S III at all four major U.S. wireless providers.
Wireless carriers in the U.S. are cooperating with the Federal Communications Commission to assemble a joint database of stolen mobile phones in hopes of curbing theft of smartphones such as Apple's iPhone.
Despite not being able to sell the iPhone, a reportedly leaked employee memo reveals that T-Mobile will begin to offer official support for subscribers using unlocked versions of Apple's popular handset on its network.
T-Mobile CEO Philipp Humm said Tuesday that a frequency band incompatibility issue is the "key reason" keeping the carrier from offering the iPhone, noting that it will be resolved with future chipsets, potentially paving the way for Apple's handset to arrive on its network.
Though T-Mobile U.S. does not offer Apple's iPhone and its network cannot provide 3G access to the iPhone in most parts of the country, a select number of users using an unlocked iPhone on T-Mobile can now obtain 3G speeds thanks to a network adjustment.