NEW YORK -- T-Mobile will likely start carrying the iPhone nextyear after its parent company, Deutsche Telekom, said it has reached anew deal with Apple.
T-Mobile USA had been the lone iPhone-lesscarrier among the four national wireless companies in the U.S. Althoughit has been possible to use iPhones on T-Mobile networks, customers hadto provide the phones themselves. The phones also work at much slowerspeeds, though T-Mobile has been reshuffling its network to match orexceed AT&T's data speeds.
The three larger carriers, AT&T, Verizon Wireless and Sprint Nextel, already sell the iPhone, as do many smaller ones.
DeutscheTelekom said Thursday that T-Mobile will add Apple products to itsportfolio in the coming year. Though it didn't mention the iPhone byname in its press release, that's the product it is most likelyreferring to. It's possible T-Mobile will also sell a cellular versionof the iPad, as the three national carriers do.
Apple spokeswomanNatalie Harrison confirmed the agreement but would not comment further.In an email, T-Mobile also wouldn't mention the iPhone by name, sayingonly that more details will come "at a later date."
T-Mobile hasagreed to combine its cellphone business with MetroPCS CommunicationsInc. in a deal they signed earlier this fall. The combined company willstay No. 4 among U.S. wireless carriers, though the combination is aimedat letting the two better compete with larger rivals. Deutsche Telekomwill hold a 74 percent stake in the combined company. MetroPCSshareholders will own the rest. The deal awaits government clearance