(Updated With Clarified Statements From T-Mobile CTO Neville Ray) A Look At T-Mobile’s CES 2012 Booth, The Availability Of The iPhone, And A Look At Carly With Mr TmoNews Himself

Clarification from T-Mobile Regarding iPhone: Comments made by T-Mobile’s CTO, Neville Ray, regarding the evolution of chipsets to include additional bands were misconstrued. Mr. Ray was speaking generally to chipset advancements available to all phone manufacturers. T-Mobile has no knowledge of Apple’s product roadmap and our position on the iPhone has not changed.

Yup, after almost 3 years of being a part of the T-Mobile world as the man behind TmoNews, I’m revealing myself as the great wizard of T-Mobile OZ. Why did I stay anonymous for so long? Absolutely no reason whatsoever. You’ll catch a before and after shot carefully arranged by the folks at T-Mobile with Carly herself taking a picture with me, then giving me a good shot to the stomach for all those awesome leaks I do. We had a good time at T-Mobile’s event last night and Colbie Caillat was very good.

The event itself was as much a story about where T-Mobile has been as it was about where they are going. Ultimately, I know a lot of you are disappointed by the lack of handset and network announcements. I can only try to emphasize that T-Mobile was looking at a very different January CES event a few short weeks ago. As it stands now, they’ve got plenty in the pipeline, this I both know through ninjas and from comments from T-Mobile personnel themselves. T-Mobile Chief Executive himself promises an exciting year with plenty in the pipeline to keep T-Mobile customers happy as the the company sees a return to fighting spirit.

T-Mobile Chief Technology Officer went as far as to tell CNET in a separate interview that the next Apple iPhone will have a “…chipset [that] will support AWS,” then saying in reference to the iPhone not running on T-Mobile’s network in the past, “the challenge that existed in the past will go away.” Ray has said he has seen the roadmap of chipsets Apple is planning to use, and knows it has the capability to run on AWS. He also stated that Apple could choose not to strike a deal with T-Mobile thereby ignoring the AWS capability.

T-Mobile also reiterated a focus on Bobsled, which I honestly feel is a real opportunity for them. Bobsled is a unique service and the opportunity to travel internationally and call without any cost provides a significant advantage over popular alternatives like Google Voice. I expressed my desire to see T-Mobile market Bobsled uniquely against Google Voice, in the sense of the low cost, utilizing your already existing phone number rather than establishing a separate one and highlighting the flexibility of using both Android, iOS, smartphones and tablets alike.

The rest of the event highlighted T-Mobile’s focus on Value and smartphone ownership. T-Mobile spoke specifically about an Omnibus survey that confirmed 4G and affordability are two critical features for smartphone ownership. Some highlights from that survey conducted among 2,573 adults ages 18 and older. Among the group were 235 first-time smartphone buyers and 998 current smartphone owners who will remain on a smartphone in 2012:

  • More than four-in-ten (44 %) first time smartphone buyers in 2012 say the cost of the data plan associated with the smartphone is the most influential reason they have not purchased a smartphone before.
  • About one-in-three consumers (28%) rank a “fast and reliable 4G network connection” as the most important feature they need when looking for a new smartphone.
  • 86% of current smartphone owners who also own a tablet want access to content on their tablet everywhere they can on their smartphone — not just where there is Wi-Fi. (NOTE: this may explain why T-Mobile’s SonicTM 4G Mobile Hotspot is popular with Wi-Fi-only tablet owners.)
  • 79% of current smartphone users/first-time smartphone buyers in 2012 are less likely to carry other technology when they have their smartphone.
  • Nearly one-third (32%) of smartphone users think it is difficult to find the best applications for them. To help consumers, T-Mobile takes a “freemium” approach – preloading new, T-Mobile devices with more than $150 worth of free, premium applications, services and content.

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