By Alexandra Burlacu | Sep 20, 2012 09:40 AM EDT
T-Mobile has never officially sold iPhones, but it has always supported the devices on its 2G networks by selling SIM cards that its customers can slip into their handsets. The iPhone 5, however, uses the brand new nano-SIM technology, which means that current T-Mobile SIMs will not fit into the handset.
According to new reports, that will change in mid-October. TMoNews got a peek at internal T-Mobile SIM materials which show that the nano-SIM card will be available next month, while The Verge uncovered a tweet from T-Mobile customer service earlier in the week, stating that T-Mobile is "looking at getting them mid-October."
Apple unveiled its next-generation iPhone on Sept. 12, the same day that T-Mobile kicked off its "Unlocked & Unlimited" campaign. As part of the new campaign, T-Mobile will be carrying unlocked iPhones in its stores for demonstration purposes. The carrier is also airing national commercials to attract iPhone users to its stores and is even launching some of its own iPhone apps.
The "Unlocked & Unlimited" campaign is mainly designed to take advantage of the expected pile of older iPhone models that will flood the market as people upgrade to the new iPhone 5.
"For everyone waiting in line for their new iPhone, they've got to do something with their original product," T-Mobile director of marketing Harry Thomas told CNET.
On the other hand, obtaining an unlocked iPhone sounds easier than it actually is. Unlocking an iPhone is possible but quite tricky, and buying an already-unlocked iPhone comes with a steep price tag, at least $649 in the United States.
Moreover, the iPhone 5 does not support T-Mobile's 3G service. Users who live in New York, Seattle, Washington, or Las Vegas, where T-Mobile offers iPhone-friendly 4G HSPA+ service may get around that issue, but the rest will be stuck with the carrier's 2G service.
Howard did not detail how fast the iPhone could run on T-Mobile's network, but claimed that its connection speed was 70 percent faster than on AT&T where 4G was deployed. Still, T-Mobile is confident that its competitively priced rate plans, including its recently launched no-strings unlimited data option, will attract customers.
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