updated 05:55 pm EDT, Wed September 1, 2010
T-Mo iPhone seen for early 2011 as G2 gets price
Persistent talk of an iPhone for T-Mobile USA gained a minor assist with a rumor this morning. An unnamed Examiner contact said that there had been "problems with the carrier" but that there would now "definitely" be a version for the second-largest American GSM carrier. The unconfirmed tip had the iPhone reaching the network early in 2011.
Such rumors can be inaccurate, and the new mention contradicts a claim the T-Mobile version might be available in the fall. However, it would line up with a Verizon-capable iPhone in January and implies that Apple might make the iPhone available on all US carriers the moment its exclusivity with AT&T ends in 2010. Apple may be keen to release the iPhone on as many US carriers as possible since it knows it may neuter Android sales simply by making the iPhone an option for those who can't justify the cost or want to avoid AT&T at all costs.
A T-Mobile USA iPhone would be relatively simple to create as it would need a readily available chipset that supports the 1,700MHz and 2,100MHz frequencies T-Mobile uses for its American 3G.
In the nearer term, a leak from the provider's internal system today has revealed what's likely to be the final pricing for the T-Mobile G2. The new Android reference device is expected by TmoNews to cost the industry standard $200 with a contract and rebate but will be relatively inexpensive off-contract, at $500. Release info still hasn't been confirmed, but it may ship on September 29.
The G2 won't be as powerful as the Nexus One, with a slightly slower processor, but it will be the first phone to ship with a completely reference version of Android 2.2 and may support features normally banned by carriers, such as no-cost 3G tethering and sharing. Its centerpiece will be 14.4Mbps HSPA+ 3G; a five-megapixel camera and a slide-out QWERTY keyboard are its other major defining traits.