NEW YORK CITY – What’s it like to be T-Mobile on the day of the iPhone 5 launch? Not surprisingly, awfully dull.
“Things have been pretty quiet,” said Jonuel, an employee at a T-Mobile store in New York.
T-Mobile has the unfortunate status of being the only major U.S. carrier without its own version of the iPhone 5. And while that’s well-known to those who follow Apple news, Jonuel said he spoke to a few customers who hadn’t gotten the memo.
“We have talked a few people asking about a T-Mobile iPhone 5, but I had to tell them we don’t sell it,” he said with a smile.
But while T-Mobile won’t offer the iPhone 5, the company has been making a big push to attract owners of unlocked iPhones. For the location that I visited, this means placing at the store’s front door a big sign advertising the promotion.
But with every big campaign comes equally significant fine print. “T-Mobile does not sell the iPhone. Verizon and Sprint iPhones will not work on our network,” reads the text at the bottom of the sign. Another big limitation? Unlocked iPhones running on the T-Mobile network will likely see significantly decreased data speeds.
Jonuel however, says he’s still holding out for the iPhone to come to T-Mobile, which could happen as soon as next year. In the meantime, he says that T-Mobile’s nano-SIM cards should allow iPhone 5 owners to jump onto T-Mobile’s network with minimal fuss.
“T-Mobile is playing hardball,” he said.