Nearly a year after T-Mobile announced that it would be updating its 3G bands to be compatible with the iPhone, the struggling American carrier hinted that it would be carrying Apple’s flagship device in 3-4 months, albeit off contract and therefore at a much higher price than that of AT&T, Verizon, or Sprint. Rumors that the carrier would officially have the device have been swirling for some time, though Reuters is reporting that the carrier has approved a timeline to launch the phone and abolish subsidies within a quarter of a year.
T-Mobile’s latest strategy in the US is to play the role of the budget carrier, but also offer high-end smartphones for use on its network. T-Mobile’s model will soon closely resemble that of its European parent company: more cost up front for a smartphone, but less money each month on a contract. It’s unclear if such a strategy will work in the US, where consumers have been trained for years to expect high-end smartphones at $199 as a base price. That obviously won’t be the case on T-Mobile any longer, though it could slowly build up steam as more and more people try to shave their monthly phone bill down while still having perks like data.