There are now rumors that T-Mobile will be offering the iPhone when AT&T’s exclusivity expires, probably in addition to rather than instead of Verizon, and possibly even sooner than Verizon. T-Mobile is, like AT&T, a GSM carrier, and so the current iPhone would work on its network. Verizon, currently using CDMA and evolving to LTE, would need a new radio unit in the handset.
Since AT&T’s earnings report showed that it was gaining market share and revenue almost totally based on the iPhone, the availability of the phone on other operators’ networks is a risk no matter how you cut it, but some believe that the current iPhones that complete their plan obligations could be switched to T-Mobile, which would create an opportunity for the latter to push plans aimed at inducing that kind of migration.
T-Mobile’s better mobile data pricing, if the plans apply to the iPhone, could make things tougher for both AT&T and Verizon. We think data plans are likely to fall in price early next year.