updated 03:30 pm EST, Wed January 12, 2011
T-Mobile USA says iPhone up to Apple
Following the Verizon iPhone, a T-Mobile USA spokeswoman said the carrier wanted Apple's handset. The carrier was "interested in offering the iPhone" but warned that it was "Apple's decision" to make, she said. More details weren't forthcoming in the Seattle Times line of questioning.
The language is curious as it repeated similar phrasing Electronista heard from Verizon president Lowell McAdam at CTIA. He deferred to Apple for the answer on Verizon even as he suggested that a deal was inevitable. Months later, McAdam was the official host of the Verizon iPhone event on Tuesday.
Apple COO Tim Cook has stressed that the Verizon deal is non-exclusive and thus could reach T-Mobile, but it's unknown whether this would include T-Mobile or how soon any further carriers would arrive. T-Mobile USA needs the non-standard 1,700MHz 3G band for full support and would require that Apple at least use an alternate 3G radio. Quebec's Videotron has hinted at just such a plan as it shares the same requirements, but when that would happen if at all wasn't mentioned.
Speculation has surfaced that Verizon may have a mini-exclusive in having the rights to ship the first non-AT&T iPhone in the US before T-Mobile, Sprint or others get similar access.