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Over 1 million unlocked iPhone running on T-Mobile USA

Seth Weintraub over at 9to5Mac heard from a T-Mobile USA spokesman that their network is already home to over 1 million iPhones, and this is without the benefit of an Apple contract, T-Mobile supplied micro-SIMs, or support for their AWS 3G/4G bands. That means, right now, there are over a million people willing to jailbreak and unlock, or buy an unlocked model, manually cut their SIM cards, and go 2G EDGE only just to be on T-Mo with their iPhones.

There have been rumors that iPhone 5 would support T-Mobile's AWS HSPA and HSPA+ bands, and AT&T is trying to buy T-Mobile and if that goes through, it probably means iPhones for everyone.

If a million customers are willing to go to the effort of doing it on their own, how many would go iPhone if it was officially offered?

Are you running your iPhone on T-Mo? If so, how's it working for you?


Rene Ritchie
Rene Ritchie

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.

  • Is that 1 million iPhone 4's? Cuz otherwise not everybody would have to cut their sim card.
  • Yeah, I had the same question: are most of them using 3GS or iPhone 4, with cut SIM cards...
  • My dad's running on an iPhone 2G. Refuses to give it up too.
  • I had T-Mobile once. Back when VoiceStream still existed a I got a VisorPhone. VoiceStream was bought by T-Mobile and when I was ready to upgrade I went thru the Treo line until the iPhone came out. I went off T-Mobile when I got a great deal on the Treo 650 from, of all places, Earthlink, when they tried an experimental cell phone service. T-Mobile wasn't offering the 650 for some reason. I liked their service, just not their phones.
  • Cool thing about t-mo is that you can use att phones and keep down data costs by only using edge. If you aren't desperate for higher speeds, this winds up working really well. And, if you ever need to use att, your phone will work fine lol.
  • Tradotto con Google da Wikipedia EN:High Voltage Software ha iniziato lo svluppio di The Conduit senza un editore. Poco dopo il gioco ha ricevuto un elevato importo di pubblicit , di almeno 10 imprese che hanno manifestato interesse a pubblicare il gioco. [21] Lo sviluppatore afferma che uno dei motivi per cui molti dei suoi giochi di licenza hanno generato recensioni povere grande perch gli editori hanno interferito con il processo di progettazione el gioco e dice che si vuole fare il pi possibile con The Conduit prima di ottenere un editore. [8] Il 2 settembre 2008, High Voltage Software ha annunciato di aver selezionato l'editore per The Conduit e che rileveranno la loro scelta entro la settimana seguente.
  • My wife has a 3GS on TMO. Yes, there's jailbreaking/unlocking, but no need to cut the SIM.
  • I believe there is on the AT&T iPhone.
  • Only iPhone 4 (it uses micro SIM, and t-mo's SIM is full sized)
  • This is inaccurate. I u use a iPhone 4 on tmobiles network you can use their 3G and 4g, not edge.
  • Disregard that... I read wrong
  • This is 100% inaccurate
  • Let me rephrase.. Mike I believe your comment is 100% inaccurate. You can't use T-Mobiles 3G or "4G" networks on an iPhone 4 or any iPhone for that matter
  • My 3GS was unlocked for T-Mobile and it was officially the worst service provider I ever had. Very rarely did I have more than 1-2 signal bars (pre-iOS 4.0.1), in the bar I would drop calls even though I was near a window, and if I wasn't on Wifi forget about downloading anything. I couldn't have been happier when I switched to AT&T and saw the "3G" logo (even though that's been slow lately). Overall many tweaks would need to be made with either the hardware or the network in order for an iPhone to function at 100% on T-Mobile. I hope the buyout helps..
  • I hope it doesn't. You were on Edge, what did you expect?
  • The buy out would be disastrous for people who want a good GSM carrier in the US. Did you ever think that maybe T-Mo just isn't good in your area? There's nothing wrong with choosing to pay more for service when it is the better service in your area...that doesn't mean the rest of us want to be stuck with AT&T, who hate their customers so much they make them buy little cell towers to fix coverage gaps lol.
  • T-Mobile works great in my southern California area. I would not be a 2G/3G/3GS user if AT&T was my only choice. Data usage is mostly email and the occasional tether while traveling, so 3G speeds is no problem.
  • Got the iPhone 3G the day the jailbreak team released their unlock and have been an iPhone user on T-Mobile ever since.
    AT&T had no coverage here in the Hollywood Hills of Los Angeles. It was such a problem that all my neighbors found out what I was doing and did the same. It was a regular T-Mobile iPhone community.
    Sometimes I wish I had 3G speeds (and the ability to talk and surf when on the cellular network) and it'd be fun to have visual voicemail. But, that stuff isn't really important to me. Plus, I'm rarely ever without wi-fi.
    One of the things I do enjoy is having a $58 monthly iPhone bill. :-)
    I'm sure that monthly bill is going to go up when AT&T buys T-Mobile though.
    Honestly, it's just about having coverage where you need it. Ironically, I was with AT&T prior to the iPhone launch ( i had a Treo 650) and life was good. Then, they sold the cell tower that was near me to T-Mobile. I went from 5 bars down to 0 or 1. And that's what started my journey with T-Mobile.
  • This is also true; AT&T's reception up in the Hollywood Hills/Malibu area does tend to be seriously lacking. I'm on AT&T and I'm lucky to get 1 or 2 bars up there. Good thing I don't go up there often enough for it to be a major issue for me.
  • AT&T's prices aren't worth the slim difference in features. It really only comes down to coverage for most people, considering that most people who own smartphones still don't even use them the way they were intended. Unless you're in the boonies, you most likely have wifi available, and I find myself resorting to using my Macbook for more tasks just because I like the traditional web feel. The iPhone's maps, mail, browser all suck in comparison to the natural (desktop) web versions of those sites. The mobile side of it is only good for how quickly you can get the info you're looking for; if only it were as easy as using a desktop/laptop.
  • Hey what person truly talks and surfs on AT&T. Those people are to troubled with the fact the that there call might drop any second not worrying about Internet. Hey if I was on AT&T I would too.
  • Simultaneous voice and data drain battery anyway. Not worth it.
  • Not necessarily; just don't be on the phone too long, and make sure you have good reception. Having poor reception kills your battery quicker, because the phone's radio has to work harder to pull in a signal. I use voice + data on AT&T often (and used it when I was on T-Mo too) and battery life hasn't been an issue for me.
  • Lots of people use simultaneous voice & data. I use it fairly often; it comes in really handy at times, e.g. when someone calls and asks for directions to somewhere, and I can just go into Google Maps during the call and tell them directions to get there. So simultaneous voice & data is something I consider absolutely essential on any carrier I use. I'd never go to any carrier that didn't have it. I didn't think it was that big a deal either at first, until I actually started using it.
  • Simultaneous voice and data means I would be able to send and receive MMS messages during a phone call.
  • Could you make an English language veroisn? This app looks wonderful but I can't speak or read Chinese unfortunately. It looks better than any app that is currently in English.
  • I personally love my iPhone 4 on T-Mobile. Not a single issue yet.
  • been there, done that. Android is better
  • We're mostly talking about carriers here :-P
  • TMo's network is blazing fast where I am. My parents are still with Tmobile. But once you get about 10 miles out of any population around me it gets worse than AT&T.
  • This is true; when I was on T-Mo, once I drove out of the L.A. metro area, my reception suffered greatly until I either came back or arrived at another greater metro area (e.g. Sacramento, SF, & SD).
  • 3GS on T-Mobile for quite a while. For me it has nothing to do with coverage, everything to do with price. (coverage per network varies all over the place). It's the cheap plans and the $10 (or less) unlimited data that got me there instead of the mother ship (ATT). If the merger/purchase happens, my $10 unlimited date (Edge or not) goes bye-bye. (sniff)
  • If you're on contract, your price should stay the same. If AT&T changes pricing on T-Mo customers who are absorbed into their fold, they'll have the chance to get out (contracts are binding, after all).
  • In San Diego, my 3GS works better on T-Mo than it did on AT&T.
    I never got any benefit from 3G on AT&T, it had to be disabled or it would drop every other call (and wasn't fast anyway).
    Plus T-Mo pricing is realistic.
  • tmobile 3GS here. I'm content with it. I'm usually connected to wifi so 3G makes no difference to me. also I haven't had any dropped calls. I do plan on switching to verizon for the iPhone 5 though.
  • That 1 million sounds like a pretty conservative estimate, as I've been seeing people with iPhones on T-Mobile left and right. Apparently they don't mind being limited to Edge, for now. They just wanted the iPhone, but didn't want AT&T (which I can understand, as having choice/options is always a good thing). So there's definitely a market for it. I used to be on T-Mobile, and loved their customer service, and the plan I was on (Even More Plus). I would've stayed with them if their coverage and reception would've been better in my area (southern CA/L.A. area).
  • I wouldn't go to T-Mobile even if it was free! Lousy customer service, no signal in half the country. It is a poor man's cell phone carrier.
  • Oh THAT explains why T-Mobile has won Customer Service awards year after year, while AT&T is ranked at the bottom.
    You sir, are a genius
  • I had t-mobile & ATT and Tmobile does not have better coverage than ATT. They might have less dropped calls but that is probably due to the fact that they hardly have coverage everywhere. Just look at the coverage map and don't lie to yourself. #1 is Verizon, 2nd ATT, then T-mobile & Sprint.
  • Sprint, I'm sure beats AT&T as they share some frequency with Verizon and have free roaming.
    They have great coverage where I live (northeast) .
    "They might have less dropped calls but that is probably due to the fact that they hardly have coverage everywhere."
  • Carriers are different depending on where you live. They don't all treat their customers the same in every part of the country, just like their networks work differently all over the place.
  • secondo me la wii si un esperimento ma dvmreoo aspettare ancora un pochino per la Wii2 .cio ora come ora questa consolle vende ha successo e c sono ancora tanti giochi in uscita .secondo me the conduit il gioco ideale x questa consolle grafica accattivante..un sistema di controllo che si spera sia ben implementato e tack .ecco fatto .poi uscir la wii2 .e grazie alla grafica che avr e ai sensori potenziati porter gli ultimi scettici ed eretici dalla nostra parte .k cos non romperanno per la grafica e sentendo di giochi come questo si aspetteranno cose simili per la wii2 .cmq la wii attuale si al di sotto delle altre consolle(graficamente) ma diciamocelo la XBOX360 offre poco o niente ed piena di bag la ps3 offre giusto giochi come metal gear .fine .solo grafica niente arrosto ..e questo the conduit lo dimostrer a tutti k il nostro arrosto anche se non molto bello da vedere il pi gustoso e succulento di tutti
  • But, they are awesome wherever they have good signal. If you live in one of those areas where AT&T and T-Mo have to compete, they both have good customer service lol. Also, you know no one is a bigger penny pincher than the rich man; look at the scrooge ;-)
  • I bought an iPhone 2G before the first unlock was even official. I now use a 3GS, my wife uses a 3G, and my Dad uses my original 2G, all on T-Mobile.
    The service is not an issue in San Diego. I stream high quality Pandora all the way to work and back with no drop outs over EDGE, and I don't have dropped calls. The best part is the cost; 3 iPhones, 2 Unlimited Data plans, and Unlimited Texting for everyone on the family plan for $80 a month. Unbeatable.
  • Holy hell how did you manage that?
  • You can get unlimited data on T-Mo for an iPhone at $10 per phone per month if the SIM you're using started out in a feature phone; I'm guessing that is how he did it.
    Honestly, I have wifi available so often, I'm paying the $10 a month just for the 250 MB. I don't usually come close to that limit, since Edge is so slow ;-) though I kinda like that fact.
  • I'm proud to own 2 of them. Screw AT&T :)
  • What makes you say that?
  • Proud to not be in the hands of att. Unlimited (albeit slow atm) data + realistic pricing on T-Mobile FTW !!
  • Edge on a good signal is better than 3G on a bad signal :-)
  • I was using my iPhone 3GS on T-Mo until I went and bought my GSM Palm Pre 2, unlocked. I can't imagine why Apple doesn't wise up and sell these people iPhones...probably has to do with their 3G/"4G" bands not being supported worldwide.
    I don't mind using an AT&T phone on T-Mo, knowing that it is a strong possibility they could be bought by AT&T soon...I will likely just wind up having to switch it over at that point anyway, which will work just fine.
  • Personally, I hate vzw more than att. Though, I think they are competing for biggest douche-bag company lol.
  • My network choice is T-Mobile, hands down. My phone is the next priority, and both my iPhones did great on T-Mobile, even though I couldn't do 3G/4G with the iPhone. I recently switched to the myTouch 4G, and actually like it even better. I loved my iPhone, but I'm loving my new phone and Android even more, especially for my use (power user, productivity user). I just really love my T-Mobile, their customer focus, customer service, 4G speeds, and especially the overall value for my dollar.