The T-Mobile iPhone rumor has had its ups and downs ever since AT&T was the sole U.S. mobile operator to sell the iOS handset in the country, but Apple never launched any of its iPhone models with the carrier.
Fortune on Thursday reported that an analyst is expecting T-Mobile to get the iPhone (most likely the iPhone 5 in case it happens) as soon as next week:
Now Merrill Lynch’s Scott Craig is out with a note reporting that “speculation is heightening” that Deutsche Telecom (DT) will announce a deal to bring the iPhone to its U.S. subsidiary at next week’s analysts day (12/6-7).
One of the reasons T-Mobile has been ignored by Apple is that the carrier’s GSM network can’t offer 3G support to the iPhone. Or better said couldn’t do it so far, as T-Mobile has upgraded its HSPA+ network in several markets to offer 3G coverage to its iPhone subscribers that were limited to 2G speeds so far. And there are over 1.5 million iPhone users who chose to either jailbreak their GSM iPhones or purchase unlocked devices and move to T-Mobile instead of sticking it out with AT&T.
But will T-Mobile backtrack on its most recent statements? Just last week we reported that T-Mobile doesn’t seem too interested in getting the iPhone. The carrier’s COO said that the company “would love to carry the iPhone,” but added that “however, we want the economies to be right for us.”