Fear not, T-Mobileites. Following the Wall Street Journal’s report that Sprint may get the iPhone 5 this October, a new rumor says T-Mobile’s getting the next iPhone as well.
The source of this rumor isn’t the often-solid WSJ, but MacTrast, citing “a contact within T-Mobile.” Reportedly, the T-Mobile iPhone 5 will have 3G speeds–not the HSPA+ “4G” that T-Mobile is putting in its high-end Android phones. At this point I’m sure T-Mobile customers will take whatever iPhone they can get. As 9to5Mac has reported, more than 1 million T-Mobile customers have connected iPhones to the network, dealing with sub-3G data speeds.
MacTrast’s report of a possible T-Mobile iPhone 5 doesn’t stand alone. In April, Boy Genius Report posted photos of what was supposedly a prototype T-Mobile iPhone for testing purposes. In May, Jefferies & Company analyst Peter Misek said to expect an “iPhone 4S” on both Sprint and T-Mobile. And when you think about it, it’d be kind of silly for Apple to launch an iPhone on AT&T, Sprint and Verizon Wireless while giving T-Mo customers the cold shoulder.
MacTrast actually takes this logic a step further, and speculates on whether you’ll be able to buy an unlocked iPhone that actually works with any of the four major U.S. wireless networks. At present, you can buy an unlocked iPhone 4 for $649, but in the United States it only works on AT&T and on T-Mobile’s slower EDGE network. It’s really only meant for overseas travelers who want to swap in a cheap SIM card when they’re abroad. But we’ve heard rumors that the iPhone 5 will have a dual-mode chip, meaning it could support GSM (AT&T and T-Mobile) and CDMA (Verizon and Sprint) networks.
The ability to move effortlessly between carriers would probably be more revolutionary than whatever new shape Apple is planning for its hardware.