Did you watch the college football National Championship? It seemed like Apple had more than 10 commercials for the iPhone. There was a flash of another company that likely footed the bill at the end of each of those commercials: Sprint, Verizon, and AT&T.
T-Mobile is the only of the major US carriers that doesn’t offer the iPhone directly. But at CES the Chief Technology Officer Neville Ray reported that there are 1.9 million iPhones on T-Mobile and they’re picking up about 100,000 each month. That’s because since September they’ve been pitching the iPhone on their service.
T-Mobile is going to be up front with its limitations. Its stores will carry demo units of the iPhone – an unusual scene since carriers rarely display products they don’t sell in their stores. Customers can try out the iPhone and see how the experience is and how quickly (or slowly) the phone runs on its network. The carrier will also train its sales staff to address iPhone-related questions.
Because T-Mobile has been building a faster HSPA+ network on the same frequency as AT&T, it can actually be faster to get the newest phone on T-Mobile than on other carriers.
That means that T-Mobile is making it easy on Apple. It won’t take new iPhone hardware to become available for T-Mobile. That makes the CEO’s claim that the iPhone will come more likely in “three to four months” than “six to nine” a bit more realistic.