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Apple Testing iPhone for T-Mobile USA

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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13,021
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BGR provides photos of an iPhone prototype that supports T-Mobile USA's 3G service.
That’s right, you’re looking at photos of an iPhone prototype with T-Mobile USA 3G bands. The actual internal model is N94, and if you remember, the Verizon model is N92 while the standard GSM variant is N90. We have verified that the phone itself is running a test version of Apple’s iOS, much like the one we saw in those videos from Vietnam, and it includes internal Apple test apps like Radar and Apple’s employee directory app.
The T-Mobile US network uses different frequencies than AT&T's, requiring different hardware to support. It's not clear what this will mean given that AT&T is planning to acquire T-Mobile USA, though that transaction will take some time before it goes into effect. In the meanwhile, T-Mobile continues to operate as an independent carrier in the U.S.

Article Link: Apple Testing iPhone for T-Mobile USA
 

thadoggfather

macrumors G5
Oct 1, 2007
12,886
10,748
Why?

I thought AT&T's buyout means T-Mobile is going bye-bye?

408 area code, that means cali. is that steve jobs' personal number? :p
 
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boodyup

macrumors member
Dec 3, 2009
49
0
I think AT&T is getting tired of dropped calls on it's frequency band...it wants to start dropping them on T-Mobile's as well.
 
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KnightWRX

macrumors Pentium
Jan 28, 2009
15,046
4
Quebec, Canada
This would make a possible model for Videotron and Wind Mobile in Canada and probably give Apple more carrier options in other countries also. It makes sense in a non-US Centric view.

And looking at "carrier acquisitions" here, Rogers acquired Fido ages ago, yet even though the networks worked on the same GSM bands, they still haven't merged. An AT&T purchase of T-mobile would probably take years for a merge to even occur, and a few technology changes. AT&T isn't going to retrofit T-mobile's network and change their frequencies, requiring all the existing customer base to change phones.

So even in a US Centric view, it makes a lot of sense. Basically, don't let an AT&T acquisition of T-mobile trick you into thinking this is a false rumor.
 
Comment

dashiel

macrumors 6502a
Nov 12, 2003
876
0
Why?

I thought AT&T's buyout means T-Mobile is going bye-bye?

408 area code, that means cali. is that steve jobs' personal number? :p

The T-Mobile deal isn't a for sure thing. Likely, but the FTC could block it. Also, as the article states T-Mobile's towers use a different frequencies.
 
Comment

Mactagonist

macrumors 65816
Feb 5, 2008
1,052
100
NYC - Manhattan
Why?

I thought AT&T's buyout means T-Mobile is going bye-bye?

408 area code, that means cali. is that steve jobs' personal number? :p

I am sure any plans to launch it have been scrapped and this is just a left over prototype. You know Apple has a history of planning for every contingency, I am sure there are Sprint iPhones ready to go also. If Apple decides to release them they would be ready to go.
 
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snebes

macrumors 6502a
Apr 20, 2008
795
524
The T-Mobile deal isn't a for sure thing. Likely, but the FTC could block it. Also, as the article states T-Mobile's towers use a different frequencies.

That doesn't mean that Apple wouldn't be testing handset for them now. Just being an optimist. If AT&T/T-Mobile purchase does go through, it doesn't mean that T-Mobiles 2G/3G network goes away. It will be around for many more years. AT&T may require their handsets to support the T-Mobile 3G bands as well as their own.
 
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Eriamjh1138@DAN

macrumors 6502a
Sep 16, 2007
653
491
BFE, MI
Testing doesn't mean it is definitely coming. Apple is going to weigh all it as a business opportunity or not.

T-Mobile could mean another 3-6 million phones in a year. If it is a simple hack of an AT&T phone and easy to implement, it might be worth Apple's effort.

Besides, what WILL happen to T-mobile's frequencies? The HW would have to be modified/upgraded/changed to support AT&T, right? Those cell towers won't switch overnight to AT&T freqs for no cost.

What really would make sense would be an AT&T/Verizon/T-Mobile WORLD phone. That would make the most sense to me.
 
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Buschmaster

macrumors 65816
Feb 12, 2006
1,306
26
Minnesota
Is it possible that they would make a phone that would cover both AT&T's and T-Mobile's bands? AT&T could really combat the coverage problems they've had on the west coast with that, correct?
 
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chrmjenkins

macrumors 603
Oct 29, 2007
5,322
154
CA
The Verizon iPhone's radio actually supports the AWS 3G bands. This phone could be as simple as a Verizon iPhone with SIM and custom firmware. It's also possible the antenna bands are different too. Still, the radio wouldn't have to be something not in a shipping apple iPhone.
 
Comment

wordoflife

macrumors 604
Jul 6, 2009
7,563
34
Cool. They'll need to make an iPhone that supports the T-mobile's bands if the merger goes through anyways. (right?)
 
Comment

destroyboredom

macrumors 6502
Dec 16, 2002
382
101
Washington, DC.
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 3_1_3 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/528.18 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0 Mobile/7E18 Safari/528.16)

Hmmm...September launch of the iPhone on T-mobile?
 
Comment

Gregintosh

macrumors 68000
Jan 29, 2008
1,798
432
Chicago
I would buy this immediately. No more crappy Edge service on my iPhone. It's a chore to load anything on it, even google maps and simple web pages.
 
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kwikdeth

macrumors 65816
Feb 25, 2003
1,055
1,397
Tempe, AZ
now we know what the iPhone3,3 model was that kept popping up in iOS references.

i came over to AT&T with my iphone 4 from tmobile i bought off contract because i was tired of jailbreaking all the time with every update and having everything break like MMS and internet. the quality of service on ATT is awful, both in phone and with MMS/Text. I love it how on the ATT network it breaks up every text into pieces, and delivers the second half before the first.

if tmobile got an iphone, i would go back in a heartbeat. screw att, even with the merger.
 
Comment

emwgradstudent

macrumors member
Feb 5, 2011
53
0
Wouldn't it be nice for you guys if iPhone 5 came out on every carrier?

YES! I would love a iPhone on Sprint's everything plan. I know several people with Sprint smart phones and the service they provide is great for only $70! Choice is a good thing for the customer and if the iPhone 5 does have a global chipset, then wider availability would be the best way to go.
 
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ratzzo

macrumors 6502a
Apr 20, 2011
826
35
Madrid
The more carriers with iPhone reach, the better. Competition only benefits us, the customers.
 
Comment

na1577

macrumors 6502a
Jan 20, 2008
886
73
The AT&T iPhone 4 is 3,1 and the Verizon iPhone is 3,3. That leaves one unreleased phone in the middle.
 
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deannnnn

macrumors 68020
Jun 4, 2007
2,051
403
New York City & South Florida
Maybe they're testing this so that when AT&T and T-Mo combine, future iPhones will be able to use the T-Mobile 3G bands, even though the phone would still be exclusive to AT&T (and of course, Verizon).
 
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DeathChill

macrumors 68000
Jul 15, 2005
1,662
90
Maybe they're testing this so that when AT&T and T-Mo combine, future iPhones will be able to use the T-Mobile 3G bands, even though the phone would still be exclusive to AT&T (and of course, Verizon).
Or maybe the delay for the iPhone 5 is support for all major US carriers? That would be nice for you Americans!
 
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ITGuy

macrumors regular
Dec 5, 2005
133
16
I can see the iPhone 4 coming out on T-Mobile in short order, probably once the white iPhone 4 is available. This way Verizon and T-Mobile will eventually be able to offer it as the lower cost iPhone in conjunction with iPhone 5. Right now only AT&T can exclusively offer the $49 iPhone 3GS alongside the iPhone 4. No carrier will have that exclusive low cost advantage with iPhone 5.

I think Apple launched iPhone 4 on Verizon while in the final phase of bringing it to T-Mobile.
 
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