The iPhone may finally be coming to T-Mobile. According to a report by Sanford C. Bernstein analyst Craig Moffett, the nation’s fourth-largest wireless carrier could benefit from a sales agreement between its parent company Deutsche Telekom and Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), and start selling the iPhone in 2013.
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Moffett wrote in a research note to investors that Apple and Deutsche Telekom were “increasingly likely” to reach an agreement, according to Bloomberg. “iPhone availability at T-Mobile USA would likely reduce contract losses at that company, and push Deutsche Telekom U.S. to a net revenue growth position much sooner than the market expects,” Moffett wrote.
One of the problems faced by T-Mobile has been its wireless network’s technical incompatibility with the iPhone. However, the provider has been working on upgrading its systems, with Deutsche Telekom pledging $1.4 billion toward the changes. In a March 12 blog post, T-Mobile’s chief technology officer Neville Ray wrote that “our 4G network will be compatible with a broader range of devices, including the iPhone.”
The Apple smartphone is already available on T-Mobile rivals Verizon (NYSE:VZ), AT&T (NYSE:T), and Sprint (NYSE:S), leaving T-Mobile in a hopeless struggle to hold on to contract customers. It reportedly lost 510,000 monthly subscribers in the first quarter of the year as Verizon and AT&T together added 688,000.
Earlier this year, Apple made its smartphone available on several regional wireless providers, including nTelos Wireless, Bluegrass Cellular, Golden State Cellular, and Nex-Tech Wireless, adding to T-Mobile’s headache. Then, prepaid providers Leap Wireless (NASDAQ:LEAP) and Sprint’s Virgin Mobile also received the Apple smartphone.
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