T-Mobile USA has let go with an interesting statistic, has over a million iPhones on its network even though it doesn’t offer the device and the users cut down T-Mobile SIMs to work but don’t get 3G or 4G data speeds. Most of the iPhones on the T-Mobile network are pre-iPhone 4 and the company is working on adding Micro SIM cards as an option for customers, although a release date hasn’t been announced………..
Apple just released the unlocked iPhone 4 last week, which allows users to purchase just the phone without a contract and add it to whatever cellular service they like. T-Mobile is saying that 1 million iPhones have been added to its network and as AT&T tries to swallow up the American wing of the German telekom, many have wondered whether Apple would allow T-Mobile to carry the iPhone. A T-Mobile spokesman told 9t05Mac that there are currently more than a million active iPhones using T-Mobile’s network. T-Mobile’s network uses a different frequency for 3G connectivity, so even though it’s a GSM network, which the iPhone supports, anyone using an iPhone on T-Mobile in the U.S. will only get 2G EDGE speeds. Most of these iPhones are pre-iPhone 4 models, the spokesman said, but the iPhone 4 was also fairly well represented, which means customers had to physically alter their SIM cards to get the phone working on the network. The iPhone 4 uses a micro-SIM, smaller than the standard SIM card and T-Mobile doesn’t carry the micro-SIM variant. T-Mobile iPhone users would also have had to unlock their devices via jailbreak or purchased them factory unlocked in order to get them working on the carrier’s network, which those considering an iPhone 4 can now do in the U.S.
For a technically unsupported device, 1 million is a big number. Consider that estimates for Windows Phone 7 total sales so far puts its reach at about 3.6 million globally and that T-Mobile’s total subscriber count is somewhere around 33 million, and the number is even more impressive. If and when the T-Mobile / AT&T merger goes through, iPhone customers may be legitimized, but for now, that’s 3 percent of T-Mobile’s overall network that’s going rogue for the love of the iPhone. The iPhone’s popularity when it was only available on AT&T, which by almost all accounts provides dismal service in certain locations, including major urban centers like New York and San Francisco, is another indication that people are prioritizing the hardware when buying an Apple smartphone. The increased availability of Wi-Fi hotspots, and offloading efforts by carriers also make mobile cellular network speed less of a priority, especially since mobile data plans now come with caps that can seriously restrict their usefulness anyway. Apple can focus on hardware and software, which apparently draw in customers even when just getting any kind of cellular service can be a bit of a hassle.