We're going to go ahead and start this post with a couple of disclaimers: First of all, as we have noted in the past, iPhone rumor volleyball is one of the most popular sports on the Web. Everyone loves an iPhone rumor. And over the past few months, we've had a veritable landslide of iPhone gossip.
First Verizon was going to get an iPhone any minute.
Others argued that a Verizon iPhone was a hopeless dream.
The pitch of the speculation was such that it's become hard to tell what's iPhone fact and what's iPhone fiction. (Deep breath.)
With all that said, the newest iPhone-related rumor is a doozy. And if it proves to be correct, it could cast the furor over the new iPhone in a very different light. On Thursday, Shawn Wu, an analyst with a firm called Kaufman Bros., released a report speculating that a non-AT&T iPhone is "closer to reality than ever [and] could happen as early as this fall."
Wu says he spoke to a range of sources at suppliers and retail-stores across the country – and that many of those sources have provided evidence that AT&T will lose its stranglehold on the iPhone. And here's the kicker: According to Wu, it won't be Verizon that gets the iPhone next. It will be T-Mobile, a provider which has rarely been name-checked in past discussions of the iPhone's future.
"Interestingly, both the new iPhone 4 and iPhone 3GS support 3G at the 2100 MHz frequency and, from our understanding, the technical hurdle to support T-Mobile is minor compared to supporting CDMA technology at VZ and Sprint," Wu wrote.
Are you a T-Mobile user? Would you switch to an Apple iPhone? We want to hear from you. Talk to us in the comments – and keep it civil, folks. In the meantime, if you're an AT&T customer, and you're weighing buying the iPhone 4, check out our side-by-side comparison of the iPhone 4 and iPhone 3G S.