Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) still doesn’t have any love for T-Mobile, but the carrier will not give up on pursuing iPhone users. T-Mobile stores have reportedly begun receiving iPhone 5-ready nano-SIM cards that will allow unlocked versions of the new Apple smartphone to operate on its network. According to T-Mobile blog TmoNews, the SIM cards started showing up at the carrier’s stores on Saturday, though no formal announcement has been made yet.
The Deutsche Telekom subsidiary and Apple still don’t have a partnership like the iPhone maker does with AT&T (NYSE:T), Verizon (NYSE:VZ) and Sprint (NYSE:S). However, the iPhone 5 is capable of supporting T-Mobile’s 4G HSPA+ and LTE bandwidths, and the carrier is keen on making the most of it.
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While T-Mobile offers lower monthly prices and unlimited data, its network coverage is still short of the other three national carriers. Its HSPA+ 4G service already runs in Seattle, Las Vegas, Washington, D.C., and the New York City area and is set to expand to additional markets later this year, but the carrier is also hoping to start offering LTE services next year. Last week, T-Mobile announced a proposed merger with prepaid carrier MetroPCS (NYSE:PCS).
The new nano-SIM card is different from the micro-SIM cards used in previous versions of the iPhone and the design was approved as the new industry standard by the European Telecommunications Standards Institute only this summer. The nano-SIM is 40 percent smaller than the micro-SIM and saves on space in the device body.
Factory unlocked iPhone 5 handsets sell for $649, $749, and $849 for the 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB versions, respectively.