Will T-Mobile Be the Next iPhone Carrier?

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A cell-phone users walks past a T-Mobile store in London

ANDY RAIN/epa/Corbis

One analyst sees Verizon falling short in its bid to become the first non-AT&T option. And no, it’s not because Charles Barkley’s momma decided to finally pick up the phone.

Fortune‘s Philip Elmer-Dewitt recently spoke with Kaufman Bros.’ Shaw Wu about why T-Mobile is a darkhorse candidate. Wu’s trio of reasons in favor of T-Mobile speak to how the smaller company addresses both technical compatibility and competition with other rising smart-phone technologies.

The AP reports that Wu also sees the iPhone as a lynchpin for T-Mobile to gain back lost customers. When asked about the possibility of attaining rights to the device, T-Mobile USA spokesman Peter Dobrow expressed the desire to someday deliver the service to the company’s users. But he also made no mistake about who holds the keys to that possibility.

“T-Mobile does not comment on rumor or speculation,” Dobrow told the AP. “Would we like to offer the iPhone to T-Mobile customers in the U.S.? You bet. Ultimately though it is Apple’s decision on who carries its product.”