T-Mobile Could Get the Next iPhone

LAS VEGAS -- 2012 International CES -- T-Mobile US Inc. could get the next Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) iPhone as part of its comeback bid in the U.S.

T-Mobile CTO Neville Ray told CNET that he believes the next Apple chipset will support the Advanced Wireless Service (AWS) spectrum (1700/2100MHz) that T-Mobile uses for its 3G service. A T-Mobile spokesperson contacted LR Mobile to clarify that Ray did not have specific knowledge of Apple's roadmap but was speaking generally to where that roadmap could go. Analysts at our sister company, UBM TechInsights , already said last year that Apple's decision not to support AWS in the 4S may have been more of a business judgment call than a technical hurdle. (See iPhone 5: Apple Can Have 4G But Not the World.)

Getting the iPhone would help with the way the company wants to position itself as a comeback kid after the collapse of the AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) merger. "We're back in fighting spirits and back to challenge the market," CEO Philipp Humm said here at a press event Tuesday. (See AT&T Drops Bid to Acquire T-Mobile.)

The operator is offering new phones -- the well-featured Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. (Korea: SEC) 4G Blaze and the $50 Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) Lunia 710 Windows phone -- and speeding up parts of its high-speed packet access-plus (HSPA+) network as the initial phase of its fightback. The carrier has expanded its 42Mbit/s HSPA+ service to 12 new markets covering 184 million people in total; its 21Mbit/s footprint now covers more than 200 million potential users in the U.S.

The company has also extended its Bobsled messaging service to offer VoIP services to both Android users and iPhone and iPad users. Executives also promised new cloud services and the ability to sync messages across multiple devices.

Humm said that spending to upgrade the HSPA+ network will continue, particularly now as the operator is getting additional AWS spectrum as part of its AT&T break-up. (See T-Mobile Gets Spectrum in AT&T Breakup.)

The CEO promised more news on a "reinvigorated" T-Mobile throughout the year.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile

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