Yes, the iPhone won’t officially be available to T-Mobile users until at least 12 months, when government regulators are expected to give thumbs-up (or thumbs-down) on the $39 billion acquisition by AT&T. However, that hasn’t stopped Wall Street experts from weighing-in on the possible impact. Depending on who you ask, the deal could be a huge, or minor, plus for Apple.
“We believe T-Mobile could add [around] 3 million incremental iPhones in its first full year, which could be conservative,” Bank of American analyst Scott Craig told investors Monday morning. If you don’t like that view, there is another.
“We view AT&T’s acquisition of T-Mobile as a minor positive for Apple,” writes analyst Doug Reid of Stifel Nicolaus. Reid has “increased confidence that iPhone and iPad will be available to the customer base of T-Mobile USA in 2012, an assumption already reflected in our Apple estimates.” As for iPhone rivals, the deal will “reduce the number of distribution channels for Android, Windows Phone, BlackBerry, and Nokia devices” to three carrier,” he adds.
T-Mobile has said it has no plans to offer the iPhone for at least the first 12 months, giving Sprint some breathing room to decide its next move. Already we see the carrier forming closer ties with Google, announcing plans to use Google Voice for voice mails and text messages.