T-Mobile has already confirmed yesterday that it would not be stocking the iPhone 4 and the future iPhone 5; it says a lot about the type of relationship that T-Mobile and AT&T will have at the end of the 12-month acquisition process.
Ironically, the NYTimes mentions that the inability of T-Mobile to get the iPhone for its US-based customers was mentioned as one of the reasons why Deutsche Telekom decided to go ahead with the sale.
T-Mobile customers were apparently leaving in drove to get the iPhone, a move that was accelerated as Verizon Wireless managed to get hold of the second US-based iPhone licence.
When France Telecom agreed to take onboard T-Mobile UK, it combined with Orange UK to form Everything Everywhere. Orange was identified as the leading partner and T-Mobile, the junior one, meaning that the latter would aimed at a more consumer-oriented audience likely to be interested in the "value" segment.
AT&T is likely to go further and literally kill the brand altogether, just like T-Mobile did back in 2001 when it acquired VoiceStream and Powertel. After the $39 billion acquisition and pending governmental approval, AT&T will be the biggest mobile phone operator in the US with more than 130 million customers, a quarter of whom would come from T-Mobile.
More importantly perhaps, it marks the end of T-Mobile's expansionist strategy as Deutsche Telekom falls back on Europe. The other question that is likely to be raised is whether AT&T will start to look eastwards towards Europe for growth.