One of the most pernicious lies about the new iPhone 4S is that it works “across all carriers.” (I saw that in the New York Times this morning.) That’s wrong. It doesn’t work on T-Mobile USA, making Apple now fully complicit in AT&T’s plan to destroy the smaller carrier so it can gobble up T-Mobile’s tasty, tasty spectrum.
There’s a technical reason why the iPhone 4S can easily work on Sprint, but not on T-Mobile. Sprint uses the same technology and same frequency bands as Verizon Wireless; putting out a Sprint iPhone is just a matter of testing and tuning. But T-Mobile has been cursed with the unusual AWS 3G frequency band, which no iPhone has ever supported.
To produce a T-Mobile-compatible iPhone, Apple would need to change their radio to include AWS. There aren’t very many phones with both AT&T’s and T-Mobile’s 3G bands; the Huawei U9000 can do it, as can the Nokia N8, but it’s not exactly common, and radio design has never been Apple’s strong point.
Full story: Apple Bets on The Death of T-Mobile