T-Mobile: We Love the iPhone, But We Can’t Afford It!

T-Mobile remains the only major U.S. carrier to not offer Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone, and it appears that status quo will be maintained for a while to come. T-Mobile chief operating officer Jim Alling said at a telecommunication conference in Barcelona that his company would like to sell the iPhone, but the costs to carry the device were too high at the moment. “Make no mistake about it. We would love to carry the iPhone,” Alling said, according to FierceBroadbandWireless. “However, we want the economies to be right for us.”

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T-Mobile has more than 1.5 million customers who use unlocked iPhones on its network, but it also blamed the 492,000 customers it lost last quarter on the fact that it doesn’t offer the Apple smartphone officially. But despite that, the network said it wouldn’t be able to make a deal with Apple similar to the one reached last year by Sprint (NYSE:S), which committed $15.5 billion over four years in return for carrying the iPhone. Sprint does not expect to see a profit from the agreement until 2015.

Instead, T-Mobile hopes to focus on improving its 1900MHz spectrum to increase speeds on the iPhone that will encourage more consumers to use their unlocked device on its network. T-Mobile is still on track to launch LTE in the second half of 2013 and will cover 200 million people with the high-speed technology by the end of the next year. The provider is also expected to merge early next year with MetroPCS (NYSE:PCS).

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