T-Mobile USA eyeing iPhone launch this year or next?

Chris Ziegler
C. Ziegler|03.18.10

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T-Mobile USA eyeing iPhone launch this year or next?
We don't like to stir up the nearly constant barrage of "so-and-so is getting the iPhone" rumors unless we've got a great reason to do so -- and we'd argue that a Financial Times report involving statements from Deutsche Telekom's CEO qualifies. The British rag was chatting up DT's boss over the prospects of its American unit -- T-Mobile USA -- and stressed the company's long-term commitment to turning around T-Mobile's fortunes in the face of recent spinoff rumors, saying that it's all about rapidly building out a speedy 3G network as part of an effort this year "to lay the foundation for future growth."

Here's where it gets juicy: referring to the iPhone, the report goes on to say that "T-Mobile USA is hoping to start selling the popular smartphone later this year or next year" while focusing on Android in the meantime, as if Android is merely a stopgap measure to make it through to the singular device that can save America's number four carrier from going down the tubes. It's not clear whether FT got the chief exec making a statement to that effect on the record or it's merely gleaning this knowledge from other rumors, but the only way this would be able to happen is if the next iPhone were to come in an AWS-compatible version -- and that seems unlikely considering that AWS coverage represents a trivially small fraction of 3G subscribers around the world. Of course, wireless CEOs of all walks of life regularly make statements saying they'd be more than happy to carry the iPhone if the opportunity presented itself, so this could be little more than off-the-cuff blather anyway.
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