We won’t have to wait long to see that long-awaited T-Mobile-branded iPhone. In an interview Reuters at CES 2013, T-Mobile USA CEO John Legere said the iPhone would begin appearing on store shelves in the next three or four months.
Though Legere and T-Mobile haven’t said explicitly which Apple device or devices the carrier would sell, the timing would put T-Mobile in line to retail the current-generation iPhone 5 a good four to five months before the smartphone is likely to be refreshed this fall. There’s also the off chance that T-Mobile might be a candidate for the rumored “cheap iPhone” Apple is supposedly developing.
Neville Ray, CTO, T-Mobile (c) 2012 Pinar Ozger firstname.lastname@example.org
What’s more, T-Mobile probably wouldn’t have to sell the iPhone as a mere 3G device as many international operators and smaller U.S. carriers are forced to do. T-Mobile CTO Neville Ray revealed at T-Mo’s big CES event that he would have a good portion of his LTE network online by mid-2013. Couple that with Ray’s rapidly accelerating HSPA+ network upgrade around the country, and T-Mobile will be able to support all of the iPhone 5’s connectivity capabilities in many of its markets at launch. Not bad for a carrier that couldn’t get anything more than a 2G signal to the iPhone just six months ago.
T-Mobile originally planned to launch LTE in the second half of this year, making it the last U.S. operator to deploy the latest generation mobile broadband technology. T-Mobile is still behind its primary competitors, but management has apparent lit a fire under Ray’s engineering team. At CES, Ray said T-Mo’s first LTE systems would go online in Las Vegas in the next few weeks, which would put him five months ahead of schedule.
The iPhone won’t be the only device benefiting from T-Mobile’s accelerated LTE plans. The Verge is reporting that T-Mobile will soon offer an LTE version of the Samsung’s popular Galaxy S III smartphone. Though The Verge didn’t name a launch date, the device could hit shelves well in advance of the actual LTE launch since T-Mobile could activate its LTE radios at any time with a simple over-the-air software update.
T-Mobile had a big CES. In addition to the LTE and iPhone revelations, T-Mobile made multiple updates to its technology and service plans.