A burning question among users following AT&T’s $39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile USA was: Will T-Mobile start offering the iPhone? The answer is no.
In its Q&A on the AT&T acquisition, T-Mobile states this very clearly but leaves the possibility that things might change in a year.
“T-Mobile USA remains an independent company. The acquisition is expected to be completed in approximately 12 months. We do not offer the iPhone. We offer cutting edge devices like the Samsung Galaxy S 4G and coming soon our new Sidekick 4G,” states the document.
Of course, it’s not just a matter of getting regulatory approval and completing the acquisition: AT&T and T-Mobile operate on different 3G bands, and AT&T must cut a new deal with Apple if it wants to transfer the rights to sell the iPhone to another company, even if it owns it. T-Mobile might eventually get the iPhone, but it will probably be the iPhone 5 or (more likely) the model that comes after that one.
T-Mobile also claims that billing and service won’t change, the quality of its network will not be reduced, and all rate plans “that are entered into before the change of ownership” will be honored.