Does T-Mobile already have a million iPhones?

The huge number of unlocked smartphones illustrates either fans' fervor for Apple or customer dissatisfaction with AT&T and Verizon.

By InvestorPlace Sep 29, 2011 9:53AM
By Jeff Reeves, InvestorPlace.com

Apple (AAPL) iPhone fans know no bounds. Sprint (S) and T-Mobile might not formally carry the iPhone or subsidize sales of the smartphone, but that doesn't stop Apple junkies from finding a way around limitations.


Case in point: A blog post from T-Mobile this week claims that 1 million T-Mobile iPhones are already on the company's network.


This T-Mobile iPhone craze seems to be a result of devices that users "jailbreak" -- techno-speak for removing the restrictions imposed by Apple on its devices, such as limitation to a particular network -- as well as newly offered phones from Apple that come without a contract and are delivered unlocked to customers.


That 1 million T-Mobile iPhone figure is a simply stunning number. The 16-gigabyte iPhone 4 is $199 on AT&T (T) and Verizon (VZ), while the 32-gig Apple iPhone is $299. However, without the subsidy of the carriers, you're looking at $649 and $749 for these respective iPhones from the Apple store.


Yes, you might hate AT&T's network, but do you hate it so much that you'll dish out an extra $450?

Granted, some folks might simply be taking an old iPhone 3G to T-Mobile now that their contracts are up. Others might be finagling deals on eBay (EBAY), where you can get a "new" iPhone 3GS for about $300 or a used model for around $150.


But if T-Mobile's blog is true, it's impressive that so many people are either suffering through with older technology or getting gouged out of pocket simply to avoid AT&T and Verizon.


There's a lot of fuss being made about the potential of a Sprint iPhone, which allegedly will be unveiled in just a few weeks. Some people estimate as many as 6 million more devices will be sold as a result, and analysts are raising expectations for Apple as a result. After all, the iPhone accounts for half of Apple revenue, so a modest bump in iPhone sales would be great for the company's stock.

But you have to wonder just how much demand there is out there on these networks if hardcore iPhone fans have already found a way onto Sprint or T-Mobile. Yes, casual users might have been denied entry, but casual users probably aren't the type who will spend hours in line to get the new iPhone 5 this winter.


Apple continues to prove critics wrong and find new ways to excite its rabid base of gadget geeks. And it probably will again after the iPhone 5 launch.


Still, investors should have all the information that's out there. At the very least, the T-Mobile blog is a curiosity and testament to the lengths folks will go to for the Apple brand.



Jeff Reeves is the editor of InvestorPlace.com. As of this writing, he did not own a position in the stocks named here. Write him at editor@investorplace​.com, follow him on Twitter via @JeffReevesIP and become a fan of InvestorPlace on Facebook.




Related Articles

14Comments
Sep 29, 2011 12:43PM
avatar
Sometimes I am simply astounded by the ignorance of internet journalists.  The article mentions Jailbreaking (although SIM unlocking or carrier unlocking is clearly what he should have said) at the very beginning and then drifts off into explaining the alternate carrier phenomenon with examples of the power of the almighty Apple brand and the iPhone in general.  Old technology and unlocked $750 phones is not what is driving 1 million folks to alternate carriers.  Carrier unlocking has been around for a long time (before the legions of morons started buying up the excess stock of old 3rd Gen iPhones both on eBay and through their carriers so they could tell other morons that they had an iPhone.  Get a clue before you start writing about  things which you do not understand Jeff!
Sep 29, 2011 1:21PM
avatar
Wow so many tech savvy people posting here. Hey guys Iphone works on TMobile.  One thing about old phones 3g, 3gs on Tmobile. actually more Iphone4 in network . You can have that stats in Deutsche Telecom annual report. Get a clue before bashing others 
Sep 29, 2011 2:47PM
avatar
ATTENTION: T-MOBILE HAS CHANGED YOUR BILLING DUE DATE TO BE 5 DAYS EARLIER THAN YOUR ORIGINAL DUE DATE WITHOUT TELLING YOU. (they will claim that it is the users responsibility to look at their bill every month) THIS APPEARS TO BE A REVENUE ENHANCING CHANGE TO GENERATE LATE PAYMENT FEES BEWARE. I GOT THE NOTIFICATION AFTER I MADE THE PAYMENT LATE ON A SECOND PHONE ON MY ACCOUNT BY TEXT MESSAGE. (TEXT MESSAGING HAS BEEN BLOCKED ON MY ACCOUNT, AND T-MOBILE OBVIOUSLY IGNORES THIS FACT.) Ps i PHONES DO WORK ON THE  T-MOBILE NETWORK
Sep 29, 2011 4:31PM
avatar
AT&T does not own T mobile the merger has been blocked by the justice dept at least for now there will be law suits I'm sure.
Sep 29, 2011 1:45PM
avatar

One thing in the article I'm a little confused on is how, supposedly, current iPhone users could have possibly found their way onto Sprint's network.

 

First, GSM phones (like the AT&T iPhone), will not work on Sprint or Verizon (both of whom are CDMA).  Second, Sprint does not activate Verizon phones on their network - if your ESN/MEID is not Sprint-issued, you cannot activate the phone on their network.  Verizon has a comparable policy - you can't activate a Sprint phone on Verizon, either.

Sep 29, 2011 2:15PM
avatar
I have a iphone on t moible works great. three years now.
Sep 29, 2011 12:39PM
avatar
In the light of this country's current crisis who, except juvenile minds still living -- rent free -- in their parent's homes, really cares about such detritus as this?
Sep 29, 2011 3:25PM
avatar
forget iphones (that do work by the way) ive been getting phones that never came out in america for over ten years. i was one of the first people i knew that had a touch screen only phone because the japanese/chinese/korean market is a lot different. my first touch phone was linux too So much better than american wannabe a pc crap. and voice recognition actually worked.

idiot tmobile had a distribution deal with wal-mart as well as it took 39 Billion plus the take over of any liability to get them and SBC owns att they just use the name because you know who they are.

and its true they changed the bill dates but tmobile does it all the time especially if you ever receive a credit for anything so they can get the money right back. 

anyone who believes there going to keep all the jobs are stupid when they close stores there will be 60 people working 30 spots so people wont get hours so they will quit instead of getting fired
Sep 29, 2011 11:29PM
avatar
I have a 3GS on T-Mobile. I don't have a data plan, which is perfect because I only need wi-fi. I have a great phone and save a lot of money. 

People forget when the new iPhones come out, people want to upgrade. People sell the sometimes year old models just to cover the upgrade cost ($199 to $299). 
Sep 29, 2011 9:19PM
avatar
QVP, who told you the iPhone doesn't work on Tmobile??  lol.  There are over 1 million of them on Tmobile right now, including mine.  You must be an ATT employee.
Sep 29, 2011 9:16PM
avatar
Have been using an iPhone on T-Mobile for over 2 years now.  No problems.  Have used T-mobile for over 6 years with other phones.  Great service here in Mpls.
Sep 29, 2011 2:09PM
avatar
No, iPhone does not work on Tmobile network.  Sure, you can get voice, and a horrific data network, but what exactly is the point of spending big money on a phone, and then not get to actually use it properly?
Sep 29, 2011 1:45PM
avatar
AT&T Owns T-Mobile! T-Mobile does not have any money remaining!
Sep 29, 2011 12:33PM
avatar
You might point out that iPhone doesn't actually work on T-Mobile's network.
Report
Please help us to maintain a healthy and vibrant community by reporting any illegal or inappropriate behavior. If you believe a message violates theCode of Conductplease use this form to notify the moderators. They will investigate your report and take appropriate action. If necessary, they report all illegal activity to the proper authorities.
Categories
100 character limit
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?

DATA PROVIDERS

Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.

Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.

STOCK SCOUTER

StockScouter rates stocks from 1 to 10, with 10 being the best, using a system of advanced mathematics to determine a stock's expected risk and return. Ratings are displayed on a bell curve, meaning there will be fewer ratings of 1 and 10 and far more of 4 through 7.

105
105 rated 1
271
271 rated 2
420
420 rated 3
633
633 rated 4
492
492 rated 5
532
532 rated 6
725
725 rated 7
515
515 rated 8
343
343 rated 9
140
140 rated 10
12345678910

Top Picks

SYMBOLNAMERATING
UPLULTRA PETROLEUM Corp10
EOGEOG RESOURCES Inc10
SWNSOUTHWESTERN ENERGY COMPANY10
TAT&T Inc9
COPCONOCOPHILLIPS9
More

VIDEO ON MSN MONEY

ABOUT

Top Stocks provides analysis about the most noteworthy stocks in the market each day, combining some of the best content from around the MSN Money site and the rest of the Web.

Contributors include professional investors and journalists affiliated with MSN Money.

Follow us on Twitter @topstocksmsn.