This rumor is close to bypassing "rumor" status and jumping straight to confirmed, if the leaked document is correct.
TmoNews has obtained a release from a T-Mobile employee town hall meeting held on September 15th. The release provides a summary of topics discussed during the meeting. The relevant iPhone 5 tidbit comes from a relatively straightforward statement by T-Mobile Chief Marketing Officer Cole Brodman.
Brodman says: "We are not going to get the iPhone 5 this year."
No frills there. Here's the screen cap of the statement in context -
Of course, there are a few ways to interpret that statement. First, does Brodman put the emphasis on "this year?" If so, that could mean that the iPhone 5 might be arriving on T-Mobile in 2012.
Could T-Mobile simply not be getting the iPhone 5 this year? Could they be getting the iPhone 4 or iPhone 4S? There have been plenty of rumors recently that say Apple is planning on releasing two phones this fall - an inexpensive iPhone 4 upgrade (the 4S) and the radically new iPhone 5.
Even if these two scenarios are possible, the language is pretty clear. If the CMO is correct, there will be no T-Mobile iPhone 5 on the shelves in 2011.
T-Mobile iPhone 5 rumors have been swirling for months. In August, a supposed T-Mobile informant told MacTrast that the T-Mobile iPhone 5 was set to launch in October. Then, a leaked internal memo surfaced earlier this month that called for an "all hands on deck" meeting on September 24th. Some speculated that such a big deal would not be made for anything short of a meeting about an upcoming iPhone.
This is by far the most definitive "no" we've heard regarding the iPhone 5 coming to T-Mobile. I'm sure T-Mobile customers hope that there is a little more to the story than this seemingly case-closing statement.