Breaking Analysis: Apple Unlocks iPhone 5, T-Mobile to Start Selling iPhones?

Apple’s iPhone5 has received the green light from Chinese regulators, making way for a highly anticipated December debut. China is Apple’s second-largest market and its Chinese fans are eagerly awaiting the release of iPhone5. SiliconANGLE Contributing Editor John Casaretto noted that a report from IDC said Apple’s market share was basically cut in half while waiting for the latest smartphone. The WCDMA and CDMA models will be available for Chinese users.

Here in the U.S., the latest iPhone5 news is that consumers can buy them unlocked and contract-free. The unlocked prices are considerably higher than a locked iPhone 5, with the 16GB model running $649, the 32GB model at $749 and the 64GB model at $849. However, keep in mind that these phones are still GSM-only, and that means they will only work on AT&T or T-Mobile’s networks.

Although the unlocked version of iPhones are supported on T-Mobile’s network, T-Mobile itself does not sell the iPhone yet. Casaretto said there have been indications that this could be changing, with T-Mobile improving their high-speed network over the past year in terms of download speeds, and he speculated that this has been in preparation for the iPhone. Casaretto believes that T-Mobile has stayed away from selling the iPhone while it was waiting for the acquistion with AT&T to go through last year, but since that fell
through, T-Mobile may be ready to go it alone now. Casaretto commented on the impact T-Mobile has experienced from not selling the iPhone. He said, “It’s had a tremendous impact. They’ve been losing customers to this. Having the iPhone and featuring it on their network will be a boon to their short-term sales and going forward, having a full spectrum of phones that includes the iPhone will be a bigger benefit for them.”

T-Mobile was ranked second to last in a survey that Consumer Reports performs every year on some 60,000 cell phone subscribers to find out which service providers are the best and worst. Casaretto found it interesting that small carrier providers were at the top of the rankings (Consumer Cellular was number one) and T-Mobile and AT&T were at the very bottom of the list. The survey included categories for voice, value, text, data
and support. Although AT&T came in last in all of the aforementioned categories, they were ranked first in its 4G service, which Casaretto viewed as a big win for them.  See the entire segment with Kristin Feledy and John Casaretto on the Morning Newsdesk Show.