An analyst at Kaufman Bros. is claiming that T-Mobile, rather than Verizon Wireless, is positioned to be the next U.S. wireless carrier to offer Apple's ( AAPL ) popular iPhone.
Shaw Wu indicated in a note to clients that T-Mobile would be the next mobile provider to sell the iPhone, which has been an AT&T exclusive since its 2007 debut. He cited discussions with Apple suppliers as the basis for his claims.
T-Mobile and AT&T both use the GSM network standard, so it wouldn't be difficult to engineer the iPhone for T-Mobile's network. And, the analyst suggested, T-Mobile - the smallest major U.S. carrier - would be more likely to accept Apple's terms than Verizon, which has more clout.
Apple has motives at work, as well, Wu added. "One of the key reasons why Apple is more open to adding U.S. carriers in 2011 is to attack [ Google ] Android more directly," he wrote.
T-Mobile USA spokesman Peter Dobrow wasn't forthcoming about the carrier's product plans. "Ultimately," he said to the Associated Press, "it is Apple's decision on who carries its product."
By Benjamin Foster