Apparently there's an "80% chance" of a T-Mobile iPhone

Posted by Mark Raby

With months and months (and months!) of rumors circulating about another carrier getting the rights to the iPhone, there must be something brewing, and now there's a report that says T-Mobile has an 80% shot at nabbing Apple's phone.

Apple fan site Cult of Mac reportedly has an exclusive source that claims T-Mobile and Apple are now in an "advanced stage" of discussion over the iPhone, and "it's 80 percent likely that the iPhone will be coming to T-Mobile in Q3."

Of course, this sort of speculation has been passed around for months, ever since the possibility of Apple not renewing its exclusivity contract with AT&T was brought into light.

Most of the early discussion revolved around Verizon, the wireless carrier with the most subscribers in the US and the consistently-ranked highest customer satisfaction. It would be a welcome switch from AT&T, which has far fewer subscribers and always ranks at the bottom of the list.

T-Mobile is a more likely immediate choice, though, because its network runs on the same sort of wireless spectrum at AT&T, called GSM. Verizon's network, though, runs through a technology called CDMA, so to get an iPhone on Verizon would require substantially more work on the hardware of the device itself.

Cult of Mac's source asked to remain anonymous, for obvious reasons. Other unnamed "sources" and analysts up the wazoo have been predicting similar things, but a Q3 release would be more imminent than most were projecting. That could be just a couple months from now.

We all know, however, just how good Apple is at keeping secrets so it would come as little surprise to most people if Steve Jobs just came out one day and said the iPhone 4 was available immediately on AT&T.

The question is not so much "if" the iPhone will go to another carrier at this point, but "when" it will happen is what's still in limbo.