iPhone 5 may feature T-Mobile ‘4G’ compatibility, still no T-Mobile availability

The “iPhone 5″ may or may not exist following Apple’s event on Tuesday, but if it does, it could end up being the biggest smack to the face that T-Mobile USA has ever had the pleasure of receiving from a smartphone vendor. Over the weekend, a Cincinnati Bell customer supposedly discovered a pair of placeholder entries for upcoming Apple smartphones. One listing mentioned the oft-rumored iPhone 4S and the second listed a $639.99 iPhone 5 with an 8-megapixel camera, a 4-inch display and “4G Data Speeds.” The listing certainly raises eyebrows, but sites reporting the snafu missed a potential tearjerker that could rival Titanic. Read on for more.

Last week, T-Mobile USA chief marketing officer Cole Brodman issued a public plea that likely told us two things: 1) T-Mobile will not be carrying an iPhone when the new models launch this month and 2) T-Mobile really, really wishes that wasn’t the case. Following Brodman’s comments, some speculated that the main reason T-Mobile wouldn’t get the next-generation iPhone was Apple’s refusal to make a second iPhone model with AWS or cover the cost associated with bringing a penta-band GSM phone to market.

Presuming for a moment that Cincinnati Bell’s iPhone 5 listing is accurate — which is anything but certain — we’re looking at an iPhone 5 that supports, among other things, AWS “4G” connectivity. The same AWS used by T-Mobile here in the U.S. Ouch. AWS compatibility in an iPhone would allow a handful of carriers to offer the device on their 3G/4G networks, but as much as we love Cincy Bell, Cricket, Canada’s WIND Mobile and Chilean carrier VTR Banda Ancha, we’re not sure why Apple would bother with AWS without plans to launch a T-Mobile iPhone.

Apple will unveil one or more next-generation iPhone models at a press conference on Tuesday.

Thanks, Will

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