Fortune’s online portal is now reporting and quoting speculation from Merrill Lynch analysts that claim that T-Mobile will officially launch its own variant of the iPhone next week after years of exclusion due to both its currently incompatible AWS 3G network and its own efforts to launch LTE on the same band, which is forcing a 3G reband to its current 1900 MHz network in order to draw unlocked iPhone users and defectors from AT&T with official support as a means to shore up churn from the lack of the iPhone.
T-Mobile has always been the odd network out with the iPhone since the launch of the iconic device in 2007, due to its late activity in rolling out a 3G network and the general lack of commitment to launch the device owing to the substantial financial outlay needed to carry the device on Apple’s stringent terms. With the planned launch during next week’s string of investor summits according to the speculation, the timing may reflect the carrier’s desire to satisfy both its parent company and its current investors ahead of the expected completion of its reverse merger with MetroPCS next year.
Currently, T-Mobile has launched official iPhone support in 10 markets with the goal of covering the entire 1900 MHz footprint ahead of its planned LTE rollout next year. Should the speculation prove correct, T-Mobile will have an opportunity to reduce its churn rate due to its lack of the iPhone, being the last national carrier to not offer the device, greatly affecting its appeal compared to other carriers and subsequently have the device available to push pre-Christmas sales.