T-Mobile USA Admits It Cannot Afford The iPhone

T-Mobile is in a pretty crappy place right now. Not only does its network not have a true 4G network, but it doesn’t officially carry the phone that everyone wants: the iPhone. Because of this, T-Mobile been rapidly loosing customers to Sprint, AT&T and Verizon, all of which have both a 4G network and the iPhone. In fact, in third-quarter 2012, T-Mobile lost around 500,000 postpaid customers.

During Morgan Stanley’s 12th annual Media & Telecoms Conference, T-Mobile USA’s COO, Jim Alling, commented on T-Mobile carrying the iPhone on its network. Unfortunately for T-Mobile users, they got the response they probably weren’t hoping for. According to Fierce Broadband Wireless, Alling said the following on the iPhone:

“Make no mistake about it: We would love to carry the iPhone. However, we want the economies to be right for us. We recognize that it has been a point of churn for us.”

To an extent, I can see where Alling is coming from. When Sprint finally started to carry the iPhone, it had to sign into a $20 billion deal with Apple. At the time, Sprint didn’t expect to make a profit off of the deal until 2014. T-Mobile clearly cannot afford a similar deal as of now, though it may be worth the risk for future success.

Despite the lack of official support, Cult Of Mac has reported that roughly 1.5 million unlocked iPhone users have been using T-Mobile USA as their network of choice. This is quite surprising as most of T-Mobile’s network doesn’t support the iPhone’s 3G bands, forcing iPhones to run on T-Mobile’s standard EDGE network.

Andrew is a geek, Apple enthusiast, blogger and coffee lover from Chicago.