AT&T, Verizon and Sprint to Get Next Gen iPhone 4S/5, But not T-Mobile

Submitted by lalit on June 10, 2011 - 10:13am.

Few days back, 9to5mac reported that Apple is working on a version of the iPhone that will work on Sprint network. Mark Gurman of 9to5mac believes that “The physical design of this device is akin to the iPhone 4 of today, so this might be the iPhone 4S device with support for all carriers.” Both Apple’s “black labs” and Sprint’s R&D department are testing the new phone. Apple has even installed Sprint-compatible cell towers on their campus for testing.

9to5mac sources say that iPhone 4S will come to all the carriers, but our sources differ. They say that Apple will definitely bring next generation iPhone (whatever its called 4S or 5) to Sprint, but they won’t have a T-Mobile version. The two reasons behind the decision are the size of the carrier and upcoming T-Mobile’s merger with AT&T.

T-Mobile is the smallest carrier with the smallest percent of smartphone users in US among the big four carriers, and to support this small subset of smartphone customers Apple will have to add, test and support 1700MHz spectrum to the iPhone. Also with AT&T and T-Mobile merger T-Mobile customers will automatically gain access to iPhone within 9 months. Why would Apple develop a handset that will only sell for less than 9 months?