T-Mobile says it does not sell iPhones because the devices don’t run properly on its network, as the company fields questions about why it continues to be the only Big Four carrier without the Apple option.
Andrew Sherrard, Senior vice president of marketing at T-Mobile, said the company “thinks the iPhone is a good device,” and has “expressed our interest to Apple to offer it to our customers.” However, Sherrard went on to say current iPhone models don’t run properly on T-Mobile’s AWS spectrum network.
“Ultimately,” he stated, “it is Apple’s decision. The issue remains that Apple has not developed a version of the iPhone with technology that works on our fast 3G and 4G networks.”
T-Mobile was left out in the cold when the 4S released earlier this month, while rival carrier Sprint joined AT&T and Verizon in selling the device. Last week, smaller regional provider C-Spire announced it will become the fourth carrier to offer the iPhone, leaving many consumers to speculate about T-Mobile’s reasons for not carrying the Apple smartphone.
Meanwhile, both AT&T and Sprint reported record sales of the new 4S, as customer demand is high for the device and its new advanced voice recognition software Siri.
In an attempt to keep customers from switching, T-Mobile sent out a reported 500,000 text messages last week to unlocked iPhone users on their network. The company offered those customers a free HTC Wildfire S phone — comparable to the IPhone 3GS — with a two-year contract to discourage them from upgrading to the new 4S.
Unfortunately for T-Mobile, Apple is unlikely to create a new model iPhone specifically for the carrier, especially now that AT&T announced plans to purchase T-Mobile. The merger is currently under review by the FCC, but if it goes through, T-Mobile’s U.S. and Canadian AWS spectrum would likely be dissolved, and its service absorbed by AT&T’s bigger 4G network.
For now, T-Mobile plans to continue promoting its own Android smartphones in the hopes of retaining as many customers as possible, though there probably aren’t any measures it can take at this point to slow the momentum of the iPhone.