Will T-Mobile Demonstrate Unlocked iPhones On Its Network In Retail Stores?
Last week, we talked to you about a leaked T-Mobile internal document that appeared to reveal details of the company’s strategy for dealing with the fact that it won’t have the iPhone 5 (or whatever the heck it ends up being called) up for sale. Tonight, some new rumors suggest that T-Mobile could have a bit of a radical plan in mind where it would encourage users to bring their own unlocked iPhones to its network.
This is all hinged on T-Mobile starting to offer 3G service on 1900MHz instead of just 1700MHz, letting phones designed to operate on AT&T still use high-speed data with T-Mobile. The new frequency coverage isn’t available everywhere, but where it is, this rumor says that T-Mobile is preparing to have unlocked iPhones in its stores to demonstrate to customers just what’s possible by bringing separately-purchased iPhones over to its network.
Frankly, this sounds pretty hard to believe. We won’t rule it out, but it’s definitely not the kind of strategy we’re used to seeing from the major carriers. There’s a lot about it that certainly makes sense, but we just doubt there would be enough interest, especially considering the hesitance of US smartphone users to pay full price for their hardware, for it to pay off.