Updated from 12:18 p.m. to comments from T-Mobile in the ninth paragraph.
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The iPhone is on all the major U.S. carriers except T-Mobile USA. Apple (AAPL) is likely to bring its iconic device to nation's fourth-largest carrier sooner rather than later, according to one analyst.
Sanford Bernstein analyst Craig Moffett believes an agreement between Apple and T-Mobile, a subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom, is likely to happen in 2013, as it continues to play carriers against one another, increasing its leverage. Sanford Bernstein rates Apple and Deutsche Telekom shares "outperform" with a $750 and €10 price target, respectively.
T-Mobile has been hampered by the lack of an iPhone on its network, losing 8.9% of its traditional contract customers, and 5.4% of its service revenue, Moffett noted. T-Mobile has begun to ramp up its bring-your-own device strategy by strengthening its HSPA+ network. Its network now has the capability to run 3G versions of an iPhone, despite having no official contract with Apple.If Apple and T-Mobile came to a deal, it could potentially increase Apple's U.S. sales by 5% to 10% per year, or another 2 to 4 million phones per year. It could also keep in check the subsidy issue, which Apple CEO Tim Cook has said is overblown. Carriers are subsidizing the iPhone's hefty price tag to get customers to lock into profitable contracts. Moffett also notes the ability to roll contract commitments into Deutsche Telekom's Apple contract, which "allows for a graceful way to allow all parties to make a deal less onerous than the one made by Sprint (S)." Previously, T-Mobile has balked at buying billions of dollars worth of iPhones, similar to what Sprint did in 2011.
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.
- Real Money + Doug Kass + 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV