Sprint will become the third U.S. wireless carrier to offer the iPhone, starting with the release of the iPhone 5 this fall, according to a Wall Street Journal report today.

The news will be welcomed by many Sprint customers, but with Verizon and AT&T already offering the iPhone, it appears that  T-Mobile USA will the odd carrier out this holiday, unless the Bellevue-based company’s executives have a surprise up their sleeve.

T-Mobile’s customers stand to inherit the iPhone when (or if) AT&T’s acquisition of the company from parent Deutsche Telekom goes through. But in the meantime, the agreement for T-Mobile USA to be acquired reduces Apple’s motivation to spend time working out a deal with T-Mobile.

In an interesting twist, the WSJ quotes analysts who say that Sprint landing the iPhone could make regulators look more favorably on the proposed $39 billion acquisition, by strengthening Sprint as a competitor. Sprint is opposing AT&T’s proposed deal.

T-Mobile does offer a Micro SIM card that can be used to run unlocked iPhones on its network. And there was a purported sighting of Apple testing the iPhone on T-Mobile’s network earlier this year, but it’s not clear if that was authentic, or meaningful.

At any rate, looks like it’s time to get Carly rehearsing for more ads — minus the digs at AT&T.

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  • http://twitter.com/Buzzmodo Buzz Bruggeman

    I’m guessing that ATT must have told Apple not to deal with T-Mo, on the theory that if T-Mo had an iPhone, it might actually work well, and hence T-Mo’s customers would oppose the merger, instead of hoping it goes through so that they can get one.

    • http://geekwire.com Todd Bishop

      Buzz, I know this is an issue close to your heart. Are you still using the phone I saw you with a year or so ago?

    • MikkeyZ

      Wrong answer.

      Guess what?  Most of T-Mo’s customers, including myself, already oppose the merger.  Believe it or not, we actually think that lower prices and better service are worth foregoing the iPhone.

  • Guest

    Why would T-Mobile need iPhone? AT&T already has iPhone on its own network; it needs not compete against itself.

    (For those not, AT&T is in the process of acquiring T-Mobile.)

    • Pg

      The fact that T-mobile is the only carrier without the IPhone not to mention is has more cell towers than AT&T nationwide hence why AT&T wants to buy them…

      • Guest

        I find that hard to believe. T-Mobile’s coverage is atrocious, even in their US HQ market of Seattle-Bellevue, whereas AT&T’s is merely bad. What are all those T-Mobile towers doing?

  • Joeybutts

    This is the WSJ posting this not Sprint.  The carriers are not allowed to hint either way whether or not they will carry the iP5.  Apple will sue.

    Although the WSJ has been right on the money many times in their analysts predictions just because they don’t mention T-Mobile outright doesn’t mean they aren’t going to sell it.  

    Remember T-Mobile sells the iPhone and other iOS products all over the world with the exclusion being the US.  A company of that size can deal with Apple better than Sprint could but for financial reasons that may or may not make sense to everyone they pick and choose who can sell their product line.  

    If Apple is serious about crushing Android’s momentum and seriously crush the hope of WP7 from getting off the ground they need to sell a device that is US carrier agnostic.  Let the customer decide which carrier to use.  Just make the hardware chipset compatible with all bands.  Other phone manufacturers do this and so can Apple.  

  • Xxcesquivelxx

    T-Mobile has Really good coverage everywhere I’ve been nearly everywhere in the us, New York
    Florida, Virginia, Texas, California, Tennessee, new Mexico, etc etc.
    I even have signal in Mexico when traveling there, only up until I reach about an hour into Mexico,
    Anyways T-Mobile has the g2x
    and honestly I have the iPhone 4 and the g2x and when I got the g2x my iPhone basically became an iPod because the g2x is way better
    rooting, changing roms, customization, Widgets,flash, etc.
    Yes I know about jailbreaking but still the iPhone isn’t at the level of the g2x even when its jailbroken

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