T-Mobile USA will start selling the iPhone in about three to four months, says CEO John Legere. The executive made the comments at CES during an interview with Reuters
. Although the carrier has previously confirmed plans to sell Apple products
, it has never before explicitly mentioned the iPhone and set a narrow timeframe. Legere adds that the company's plans to end phone subsidies should take effect in the same window, the tradeoff being contract-free phones with lower monthly rates than most US carriers.
The quick timing of the T-Mobile iPhone launch suggests that the first model it will sell is a version of the iPhone 5, and not a next-generation device. Apple has never released a US iPhone before June, and during the past two years has switched to a fall launch schedule. T-Mobile could also conceivably start selling the iPhone 4 and 4S, but Apple might not want to invest the time and resources needed to retool older hardware for T-Mobile's network.
One possibility is that Apple doesn't intend to change anything except firmware, and will instead count on T-Mobile's recent frequency upgrades in some regions, which have given the carrier an AT&T-like frequency range. That would, however, mean that iPhones outside those regions would forego 3G or 4G.