This past fall’s announcement of the iPhone 4S marked the end of many months of speculation and rumors. Besides not learning of any new product that matched the radical design changes we heard rumored for the iPhone 5, predictions about which carriers would get the new phone similarly missed the mark. While analysts thought that what we now know to be the iPhone 4S would be coming to both T-Mobile and Sprint, only the latter ultimately saw the handset grace its network. Now that we’re starting to think about what Apple’s got planned for its follow-up iPhone later this year, we’re wondering again about radio coverage. T-Mobile’s CTO Neville Ray has shared a little about what he knows on the subject, claiming that Apple’s next iPhone will be capable of 3G operation on T-Mobile’s network.
Now, just because the hardware may have the capability, doesn’t mean Apple will manufacture the phone with 1700MHz support enabled. Ray says that he’s seen Apple’s plans for the chipset it intends to use in the next iPhone, and the hardware includes support for the carrier’s 3G offerings. That’s promising news for T-Mobile fans, so long as the carrier can work out an agreement with Apple.
Of course, the bigger questions about the next iPhone’s radio capabilities concern LTE, and which, if any, carriers will be able to offer the high-speed 4G service to Apple’s customers. Unfortunately, Ray didn’t mention anything along those lines, but that’s hardly surprising, considering T-Mobile’s disinterest with rushing into LTE.