iPhone on T-Mobile
Rumors of the iPhone jumping to a US provider outside of AT&T continue to swirl as Apple’s exclusivity contract with AT&T looks to expire this year. First it was iPhone + Verizon and now it’s iPhone + T-Mobile.
The report on CultOfMac says the expansion of iPhone into T-Mobile USA is 80% certain to occur in Q3 this year. The addition of T-Mobile would undoubtedly boost iPhone market share as the device would be available to a potential 33 million customers.
Other than the exclusive contract inked between AT&T and Apple, the other hurdle to bring iPhone to other networks is technology. Verizon is based on CDMA which would require a redesign of the iPhone. Moving the iPhone to T-Mobile would be relatively easy from a technological standpoint since both AT&T and T-Mobile use the same GSM technology which the iPhone is built for. The report notes that T-Mobile already has thousands of iPhone’s on it’s US network, thanks to carrier unlocks.
In the USA, whether you buy iPhone with or without contract, it is locked onto AT&T’s network. The only way to use it with another cell provider is to use a jailbreak and carrier unlock.