By Sumit Passary | Dec 07, 2012 12:40 PM EST
Deutsche Telecom, the parent company of T-Mobile announced that the carrier will offer Apple products in the U.S. from 2013. The big question is - will it sell iPhone 5 or future iterations of Apple's popular smartphone?
The latest iPhone 5 is offered in the U.S. by Sprint, AT&T, Verizon, and other smaller regional carrier. However, the announcement did not reveal if T-Mobile will offer iPhone or iPads, or both.
"The Group's free cash flow is expected to decrease to around EUR 5 billion in 2013 (scheduled figure for 2012: around EUR 6 billion), primarily as a result of the increased capital expenditure and the systematic implementation of the Challenger strategy in the U.S. market, including the agreement with Apple. The Group's free cash flow is expected to be around EUR 6 billion in 2015 (including MetroPCS)," per the official announcement.
However, previously T-Mobile COO Jim Alling said "Make no mistake about it: We would love to carry the iPhone. However, we want the economies to be right for us."
Alling further added that the carrier will not sign a deal similar to Sprint Nextel, which began carrying the iPhone in late 2011 under a four-year deal for $15.5 billion. The device has substantially driven up Sprint's device subsidy cost, and the carrier indicated that its iPhone business will not turn a profit until 2015.
Alling also added that the introduction of the iPhone 5 in September this year and release on other major carriers impacted T-Mobile's business in the third-quarter and probably will affect the carrier's revenues in the fourth-quarter as well.
Even though T-Mobile does not want to carry the iPhone officially, the carrier continues to expand its iPhone-compatible 4G network in many metro areas across the U.S.
T-Mobile is one of the four major networks in the U.S. and getting iPhones and iPads in its portfolio may increase the customer base of T-Mobile even further, helping the network operator keep pace with other three major carriers who already have iDevices in their product line-up.
T-Mobile customers will be looking forward to see Apple devices hit T-Mobile stores. We will have to wait and see which iDevices make their way to the carrier.