T-Mobile doesn’t carry the iPhone. Its soon-to-be-owner does, however. And, it was relatively simple to take an iPhone prior to the iPhone 4, jailbreak it, unlock it and throw in a T-Mobile SIM card use on T-mobile’s network. The result is not ideal since while voice T-Mobile and AT&T use different 3G frequencies, only slower EDGE data connections can be used when on T-Mobile. The iPhone 4 with its microSIM presents even more of a challenge since the additional step of shaving T-Mobile’s conventional sized SIM card down to a microSIM form factor.
Still, these steps did not deter tha more than one million people who took a variety of iPhone models and use them on T-Mobile USA’s network.
Earlier this month, Apple began selling unlocked iPhone 4 units in the U.S. However, while this removes the need to jailbreak and unlock the device, shaving down a T-Mobile SIM is still a necessary step for using an iPhone 4 on T-Mobile’s network.
During the March 2 announcement of the iPad 2, Apple CEO Steve Jobs said that more than 100 million iPhones had been sold at that time. So, T-Mobile USA has about 1% of all iPhones on its network. That’s not too bad for a company that doesn’t even sell the device.