When the AT&T/T-Mobile deal was announced, one of the first things that came to many people's minds was something along the lines of, 'Well, I guess T-Mobile's getting the iPhone too."
That may or may not be the case, but either way, don't look for it to happen incredibly soon. On a T-Mobile FAQ page, the company says: "T-Mobile USA remains an independent company. The acquisition is expected to be completed in approximately 12 months. We do not offer the iPhone. We offer cutting edge devices like the Samsung Galaxy S 4G and coming soon our new Sidekick 4."
Roughly translated: Don't buy the iPhone now. Buy these other things that we actually offer. If this acquisition goes through, then we'll talk.
According to Darrell Etherington at GigaOm, Ralph de la Vega, president and CEO — Mobility and Consumer Markets at AT&T, said that T-Mobile's customers will get access to "an industry leading portfolio of devices which will include those from Apple, Microsoft and RIM," pointing out that devices from Apple could also mean iPad.
It could mean both, and it could mean something else that Apple comes out with down the line. Either way, I'd say odds are much better that T-Mobile users will have access to any Apple mobile device if this acquisition gets the regulatory approval that it needs from the Federal Communications Commission and the Department of Justice.
Apple analysis blog Cult of Mac has a pair of interesting quotes from financial analysts. Bank of America analyst Scott Craig is quoted as saying, 'We believe T-Mobile could add [around] 3 million incremental iPhones in its first full year, which could be conservative." A Stifel Noclaus analyst says the firm has already made the assumption that iPhones and iPads will be available to T-Moible customers next year, and this is reflected in their Apple estimates.
Clearly, if T-Mobile customers get access to the iPhone and/or iPad, it's going to be huge for Apple's sales. The demand is high. This was made abundantly clear when Verizion got the iPhone. It won't be good for Sprint - that is if they don't get acquired by Verizon or something.
Last week, Millennial media revealed in a report that 4.5% of U.S. iPhone impressions came from Verizon, just two weeks after the launch.
The iPhone has had a rocky relationship with Consumer Reports, but J.D. Power and Associates has it ranked number one on its smartphone customer satisfaction rankings. I guess those customers have bumpers. Another report from Blaze Software found that the iPhone is slower than the latest versions of Android in loading web pages.