As a lifelong Chicago Cubs fan, my immediate reaction to Morgan Stanley analyst Nick Delfas claiming that T-Mobile will “announce official iPhone distribution in early 2013” is to remember how many times we’ve said “wait till next year.” Cub fans the world over will recognize that as the unofficial model of a team which hasn’t won a world series in over 100 years. It’s also the same thing we say in the T-Mobile world with each new iPhone model release.
Now, we do expect the iPhone to eventually release on T-Mobile, especially as they continue their network refarm on the PCS 1900MHz band eliminating Apple’s need to make a specialized piece of hardware for AWS. Delfas didn’t’ provide any more details but hypothesizes that such a deal would add another one to two million buyers of the iPhone 5 in the first quarter. Furthermore, Delfas sees a T-Mobile relationship “as another possible catalyst” that the iPhone 5 could eclipse expected sales of the iPhone 5 in the current quarter.
We’re hopeful that T-Mobile could offer the iPhone next year, rounding out the carriers selection of the top four smartphone operating systems, but we’re always careful of the “wait till next year” talk.