T-Mobile executive squashes iPhone 5 rumor

A purported screenshot of an internal T-Mobile blog post has the company's chief marketing officer putting the kibosh on rumors of the carrier getting Apple's next iPhone this year.

iPhone 4
Apple

If you were a T-Mobile USA customer hoping to get your hands on Apple's next-generation iPhone this year, that prospect now looks dimmer.

A purportedly leaked shot of T-Mobile's internal blog, sent to TmoNews, depicts a rundown of a town hall meeting last week, wherein Chief Marketing Officer Cole Brodman told employees that an iPhone 5 was not in the cards for the company--at least not this year.

The post reads:

"Our business is working very hard to improve performance over the last couple of years and we've had some great success," said Brodman. New products and value plans are fueling positive customer response, he added, and Brodman expects the excitement to continue into the holiday season as T-Mobile introduces two new smartphones. Note: "We are not going to get the iPhone 5 this year," Brodman said.

That statement, if genuine, would not rule out the possibility of the carrier nabbing another iPhone model, such as the iPhone 4, or the rumored iPhone 4S, which is now expected to debut alongside the next iPhone. A T-Mobile representative told CNET the company does not comment on rumors, while adding that the company is holding an event next week.

"We remain focused on expanding our portfolio of 4G smartphones. We look forward to sharing on Monday news about our latest and greatest product lineup," the representative said.

Talk of T-Mobile getting the iPhone has lingered for years , though it has heated up in recent months in the lead-up to Apple's next iPhone. Piper Jaffray analyst Chris Larsen suggested in July that Apple would be expanding the phone's availability through U.S. carriers Sprint and T-Mobile. In August, that suggestion got some legs with a report by The Wall Street Journal saying Sprint was planning to sell the iPhone 5 in October. Just a day later, Apple-tracking blog MacTrast cited an anonymous contact within T-Mobile who said the company was getting the device in "early to mid-October."

As mentioned in previous coverage, T-Mobile offering the iPhone would be especially notable, given AT&T's plans to buy T-Mobile USA from Deutsche Telekom as part of a $39 billion deal announced in late March. While that deal continues to face scrutiny --including lawsuits from the Justice Department and rival Sprint--the end game is one large network, and one single company.

CNET's Roger Cheng contributed to this report.

Updated at 12:05 p.m. with T-Mobile comment.

 

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