The trouble with iPhone 5 rumors is that sometimes they’re disappointing.
The latest scuttlebutt bouncing around the Internet is that the previous scuttlebutt about the iPhone 5 making its way to T-Mobile may well be untrue. That’s according to a pretty high-up source: T-Mobile’s chief marketing officer, Cole Brodman.
According to a story from PCWorld, Brodman has said flatly, “We are not going to get the iPhone 5 this year.” The quote appeared in T-Mobile’s Intranet newsletter, OneVoice, and a screen capture showing the quote has been posted for the greater Internet to see by TMONews.
Previous rumors have suggested that the iPhone 5, believed to be launching in roughly the next three or four weeks, could appear on several carriers including T-Mobile and Sprint. Last we heard, T-Mobile’s parent company, Deutsche Telekom, was taking preorders on the iPhone 5 from its customers, and Bloomberg even reported it had confirmed that the practice was happening.
Now it appears that if Deutsche Telekom is, or was, taking pre-orders, it didn’t necessarily mean the iPhone was coming to T-Mobile. It may be that the parent company was taking pre-orders “just in case,” or perhaps the deal hasn’t gone through. You could also read quite a bit of significance into the “this year” portion of Broden’s quote. It certainly doesn’t preclude the iPhone from coming out on T-Mobile’s network later, and it wouldn’t be outside the realm of possibility for Apple to push the release on the new carrier, perhaps as a provision of a deal with its other carriers. After all, AT&T got two years of iPhone exclusivity, and the Verizon iPhone 4 launched the February after the iPhone 4 was announced for AT&T.
Regardless, it’s probably best to expect that Brodman knows what he’s talking about while waiting to see what Apple actually announces. Nothing is ever set in stone until it gets announced, or doesn’t, by the company behind the iPhone, and even then things change. But Brodman’s comments are a pretty good reason that T-Mobile customers might not want to get their hopes up.
Meanwhile, it seems that if T-Mobile really doesn’t pick up the iPhone 5 this year, it could be the only major carrier without it. The rumors that Sprint is gaining the new iPhone have been pretty heavy, reported by The Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg and backed up by leaked documents from Best Buy stores.
T-Mobile customers won’t be without choices, though: Brodman said in the newsletter that T-Mobile will have two new smartphones available for the holiday season. Unfortunately, at the moment it seems customers are stuck with either Android or Windows Phone 7 devices, or with buying an unlocked iPhone 4 for about $649. Those carrier-free iPhones are cheaper in the long run after the initial bulk payment, but they aren’t capable of using T-Mobile’s 3G or 4G network.