Apple iPhone Holdout T-Mobile's Last Stand
The big issue in the industry for investors is whether or not carriers can show better discipline in handset subsidies when the iPhone 5 finally arrives this fall. Recent attempts by Sprint and Leap Wireless to add Apple devices to their networks hit shares, as investors weighed the costs of subsidizing the iPhone.
With the pending rollout of the iPhone 5, Jefferies analyst Peter Misek is skeptical that carriers will be able to cut their Apple subsidy habit, even if they can wean themselves off Google's(GOOG) Android.
"We believe the iPhone 5 will be LTE-enabled and that the subsidy reallocation will likely help rather than hurt Apple," wrote Misek in a note to clients in June.
T-Mobile's stance as the lone iPhone holdout -- at least so far -- is a sign that amid a landscape of smartphone junkies who may be caught in a vicious cycle moving from one smartphone fix to the next, it needs more than a quick fix to stay relevant.
For more on industry game changers, see why DISH is taking bets on wireless hand.
-- Written by Antoine Gara in New York