Ina Fried and John Paczkowski

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T-Mobile’s Long iPhone Drought Nearly at an End

After years of waiting, T-Mobile USA is poised to finally begin selling the iPhone.

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Parent company Deutsche Telekom said in December that T-Mobile USA would start selling Apple products this year, but didn’t go into any details.

CNET reported on Monday that iPhone details will be part of T-Mobile’s big event on Tuesday.

We’re hearing T-Mobile is expected to soon have a full lineup of iPhone devices, though no announcement of a T-Mobile equipped iPad is expected on Tuesday. Even the iPhones may not be immediately available.

An Apple representative declined to comment; a T-Mobile representative said the company does not comment on “rumors or speculation.”

Scoring Apple products may seem like table stakes these days, but it is a big deal for T-Mobile, which hopes to better compete with its larger rivals thanks to an improved network, lower monthly rates and a better lineup of devices.

For the last few years, T-Mobile has had several strikes against it when competing against other major U.S. carriers.

First, the company is smaller than Sprint, Verizon and AT&T. Second, each of those rivals have now launched a high-speed LTE network.

And, then of course, there was the iPhone.

T-Mobile watched as first Verizon and then Sprint got the device while it remained on the sidelines. Without the high-demand iPhone and an LTE network, T-Mobile has been bleeding contract customers for the past several years.

But the carrier has been working hard to plug those holes. It is expected to announce an agressive LTE schedule on Tuesday. At the same time, T-Mobile has also been working to make its network more iPhone-friendly by making it compatible with the same section of 3G spectrum used by AT&T.


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