The only major US carrier not to include the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S in its offering to subscribers, T-Mobile, is facing significant losses in the holiday season; according to recent reports (opens in new tab), T Mobile lost 389,000 new contracts to its rivals in the last quarter.
Initially, before Apple released the new handset, T-Mobile expressed its intention to sell iPhone 4S but Apple declined the offer. After iPhone 4S was introduced to the market, one reason given by T-Mobile for its absence, was that Apple had not made an iPhone capable of running on its fast 3G and 4G network properly.
On the other hand, Apple might have been reluctant to close the deal with T Mobile because the carrier is planning a merger with AT&T. At the moment, AT&T's planned acquisition is being blocked by serious legal issues, since the U.S. Department of Justice, Sprint, and regional carrier C-Spire have filed lawsuits against the merger.
In the absence of iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S, T-Mobile has lined up its strategy to face its strong competitors. In the battle for the upcoming holiday season, T-Mobile is trying to appeal to customers who are more budget conscious. Family-friendly value plans and affordable handsets seem to have worked to some extent as T-Mobile reports gaining 126,000 customers with this strategy (mainly from non-contract customers).