T-Mobile: Our Smartphones Are Better Than iPhones - InformationWeek

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10/21/2011
08:31 AM
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T-Mobile: Our Smartphones Are Better Than iPhones

T-Mobile, looking to remain relevant as the only major U.S. carrier without the Apple iPhone, boasts that its phones are faster and more powerful.

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It is easy to feel sorry for T-Mobile. Its larger rivals--AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon Wireless--all enjoyed exciting sales during the launch of the Apple iPhone 4S. AT&T alone bragged of adding 1 million iPhone 4S customers. Sprint said that October 14, when the iPhone 4S launched, was its single best sales day ever, though it declined to share specific numbers. Apple sold more than 4 million iPhones during the first weekend of availability.

T-Mobile didn't sell any iPhones, because it can't.

"T-Mobile thinks the iPhone is a good device and we've expressed our interest to Apple to offer it to our customers. Ultimately, it is Apple's decision," said Andrew Sherrard, senior vice president of marketing for T-Mobile USA. "The issue remains that Apple has not developed a version of the iPhone with technology that works on our fast 3G and 4G networks. We believe a capable version of the iPhone for our 3G and 4G networks would offer an additional compelling option for our customers on a fast 4G network."

[ Which Android phone is the best? Read Galaxy Nexus Vs. RAZR: Android Smackdown. ]

Even without a T-Mobile-specific version of the iPhone available for T-Mobile, that hasn't stopped more than 1 million T-Mobile USA subscribers from using unlocked iPhones on T-Mobile's network.

"However, the iPhone is not the only option to experience the benefit that smartphones offer," said Sherrard. "T-Mobile's 4G smartphones stack up against competitive smartphones in terms of functionality, speed, features offered, and overall experience--including the iPhone 4S."

T-Mobile does have an excellent selection of Android smartphones, perhaps the best of any U.S. carrier. Some of the options include the HTC Amaze 4G, Samsung Galaxy S II, and HTC myTouch 4G Slide.

Sherrard isn't above taking shots at the competition, either. "Reports continue of iPhones not operating well on some carrier networks, while our latest 4G smartphones offer many advantages vs. the iPhone 4S." Sprint customers have complained that they are experiencing slow wireless data speeds on their iPhone 4S devices.

There's no question that T-Mobile offers some "Amaze-ingly" fast 4G devices. The Amaze 4G and Galaxy S II can run on T-Mobile's HSPA+ network at the theoretical max of 42 Mbps. The iPhone 4S on Sprint and Verizon doesn't come remotely close, with an upper data limit of just 3.1 Mbps. I've seen consistent real-world speeds on these devices in the 10 Mbps to 12 Mbps range, which is blindingly fast for a smartphone. I've tested both of these devices extensively. They are an easy match-up against the iPhone.

T-Mobile doesn't spare the competition at all. It boldly claims that its smartphones offer faster speeds, bigger screens, and more advanced cameras, and that its network offers customers more compelling pricing and more choice.

"We firmly believe that T-Mobile's portfolio will give any iPhone a run for its money. We offer the increased processing power and faster 4G speeds achieved by our fastest smartphones, the most advanced camera of any smartphone. With our portfolio of Android, Windows, and BlackBerry smartphones, fast 4G network, and competitively priced worry-free unlimited talk, text, and data plans, we believe it's a great time to be a T-Mobile customer."

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