Apple officially launched an unlocked version of iPhone 4 giving users a second option, other than AT&T, T-Mobile Network.
However, a report courtesy 9to5 Mac, states that T-Mobile already has about a million iPhones on its network. A T-Mobile spokesman told 9to5 Mac that themajority of iPhone pieces on the network are pre-iPhone 4 models but there were a significant number of iPhone 4 phones as well.
Using iPhone 4 on T-Mobile would have required manual altering of standard SIM cards, as iPhone 4 uses a micro-SIM and T-Mobile does not offer a micro-SIM variant.
Apple recently launched the unlocked version of iPhone 4 in US. The unlocked iPhone 4 is GSM compatible and can thus, only be used on AT&T and T-Mobile in the U.S. However, internationally it can be used with multiple GSM operators.
Most of the iPhones which run on T-Mobile are pre-iPhone 4 models and don't have the hardware to support 3G or 4G service. Gigaom reports that iPhone users on T-Mobile can only get 2G EDGE speeds in US.
The T-Mobile phenomenon reveals the length customers are willing to go acquire an iPhone, which even entails using an older iPhone model on an outdated network.
The above stated phenomenon also gives credence to earlier reports which suggests that Apple will not release a 4G LTE iPhone. Jefferies & Co. analyst Peter Misek had stated that Apple will not release a 4G LTE iPhone this fall citing Qualcomm's inability to meet Apple's LTE chipset demand.
However, the T-Mobile phenomena indicate that a lack of LTE iPhone will not dent iPhone's prospects considering the length iPhone acquirers are willing to go. In fact a million users on T-Mobile negate the requirement to even launch an iPhone 5 in view of customers hankering for older iPhones on T-Mobile.
Misek had also claimed that Apple will announce Sprint, T-Mobile and China Mobile as new carriers. The knowledge that a million users are already on T-Mobile can speed up Apple's decision to launch a T-Mobile iPhone to legalize the existence of iPhones on the network. However, the decision will largely be dependent on the outcome of the regulators decision over AT&T's acquisition of T-Mobile.
Until that happens, users who wish to escape the AT&T hold can buy an unlocked iPhone 4 now officially made available by Apple.