All right, the elephant in the room has to be discussed at one point or another. T-Mobile may be on the verge of announcing that it will be carrying the iPhone 5 as a supported device. The question this raises is whether or not its existing ~33 million customers would opt to upgrade to an iPhone 5 if it meant not having to give up T-Mobile as a carrier.
In the past, a lot of loyal T-Mobile customers sighed at the prospect of having to buy an unlocked iPhone in order to use it on T-Mobile, even though the actual math of the matter would make going that route cheaper than getting a subsidy from the carrier. For a lot of people, the short-term gain of getting one of the world’s most popular mobile devices at a $200 price is too irresistible to pass up.
T-Mobile is my personal recommendation currently for anyone seeking fast, unlimited data plans in the US at a good price. With unlimited plans starting around $65 if you bring your own device or pay the full price for one, T-Mobile is at an advantage. In addition, its HSPA+ 4G network and gradually growing 4G LTE network frequently outpaces its biggest competitors in speed tests throughout covered areas.
I’m willing to bet more people on other networks who are already sold on the iPhone would switch to T-Mobile than existing users would switch to the iPhone. I don’t have any science to back that claim up, but it just makes more sense to me. AT&T customers with iPhones have long been locked into AT&T service unless they wish to give up some of the features the iPhone is known for. Visual voicemail among them.
Either way, it’s a win-win for customers. iPhone users get another carrier option they didn’t have before, and a GSM one at that which is excellent for users who travel internationally. T-Mobile users get the advantage of adding one of the world’s hottest phones to its product line.
I’d like to pose this question to you, the community. Would T-Mobile carrying the iPhone be enough to convince you to switch to the iPhone, T-Mobile, or both? Do you fear that a swarm of new customers might drag down data speeds if this really does happen?