Merrill Lynch's Scott Craig says speculation is heightening that T-Mobile (Deutsche Telecom) could announce a deal to carry the iPhone at next week's analysts day, reports Fortune.
It makes sense. The carrier recently beefed up its iPhone-compatible high-speed HSPA+ network in 10 metropolitan areas, allowing some of the 1.5 million T-Mobile customers already using unlocked iPhones to enjoy something better than GSM download speeds. Moreover, not selling the iPhone has been costing T-Mobile customers. "We recognize that it has been a point of churn for us," Alling said last week.
If Apple did make a deal with T-Mobile to carry the iPhone it would give them access to 98% of the U.S. post-paid market and 75% of U.S. mobile subscribers.
"While this would be incrementally positive," he writes, "any financial impact would be limited." Craig estimates that the deal would add just 4 million iPhones to the estimate of 179 million iPhones sold in 2013. That's a 1% bump in revenue and a 2% bump in earnings per share.