T-Mobile Sets This iPhone Deadline
T-Mobile has confirmed that it will start officially selling the iPhone in about three to four months, though the carrier declined to disclose details about its agreement with Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL). Chief executive John Legere told Reuters in an interview that the company would also enforce its plan to get rid of phone subsidies at the same time.
“They’re all, I would call them, in three to four months as opposed to six to nine months,” Legere said while at the Consumer Electronics Show.
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On Tuesday, the Deutsche Telekom unit had announced that despite not being an official Apple partner carrier, it had almost 2 million iPhones operating on its network, with more than 100,000 new activations coming every month. T-Mobile’s chief technology officer Neville Ray added through a statement that the company’s first LTE market will roll out in Las Vegas over the next “two to three weeks.”
Eliminating mobile phone subsidies may give T-Mobile an additional market share of 5 percent or higher, Legere estimated, because the plan would give customers more flexibility and lower service prices than those of rivals such as AT&T (NYSE:T) and Verizon (NYSE:VZ). “If the old industry structure chooses to ignore what we do,” he said, “That’s a potential.”
T-Mobile is set to merge with current rival MetroPCS (NYSE:PCS) in the second quarter of the year and is currently awaiting regulatory approval on the deal. Legere added he was looking at further mergers as well, including a potential relationship with satellite provider Dish Network (NASDAQ:DISH) or smaller rival Leap Wireless (NASDAQ:LEAP).