Ina Fried

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T-Mobile USA Getting Some Apple Mobile Products Next Year

Deutsche Telekom said Thursday that its T-Mobile USA subsidiary will at long last get its chance to sell some Apple mobile products next year, but declined to offer much in the way of specifics.

“T-Mobile USA has entered into an agreement with Apple to bring products to market together next year,” Deutsche Telekom said in a press statement. An Apple spokeswoman confirmed the deal but declined to offer further details.

T-Mobile has been taking a number of steps to make its U.S. network more iPhone friendly.

The carrier is investing billions in a move to first make its 3G network iPhone compatible and then to deploy a next-generation LTE network sometime next year. Along with that, the company has recently stepped up an effort to get existing iPhone owners to bring their devices over to T-Mobile’s network.

T-Mobile is also in the process of acquiring prepaid carrier MetroPCS.

“Hesitation now means playing catch-up later. We are investing in the future — with resolve and a clear strategy,” Deutsche Telekom Chairman René Obermann said Thursday in announcing a variety of moves his company is making across the globe.

T-Mobile indicated the moves in the U.S. and elsewhere will be pricey in the short term.

“We are going against the flow with our high investments in these times of economic challenges — because we have worked hard to establish sound balance sheet ratios and now have the necessary leeway,” CFO Timotheus Höttges said in a statement.

The company plans capital expenses next year of $4.7 billion in the U.S. with around $3 billion in such expenses in the two following years. That’s up from an average of $2.7 billion in capital expenses the last few years.

And while it isn’t breaking out the Apple deal in any meaningful way, getting an iPhone will no doubt add substantially to the cost T-Mobile must spend in acquiring each new customer as such devices typically come with a high subsidy for contract plans.

T-Mobile would be the last of the Big 4 U.S. carriers to get the iPhone, with Sprint, Verizon and AT&T all offering both iPads and iPhones.


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