**Editor's Note: Click here for our complete breakdown of the new features on the iPhone 5 or here for our list of November's hottest selling smartphones to see how the iPhone 5 stacked up against the competition.**
T-Mobile might finally be ready to offer its customers Apple's iconic iPhone.
Merrill Lynch analyst Scott Craig wrote in a note late last week that we could hear an announcement about a partnership between Apple and the Magenta Network on Thursday or Friday. Craig thinks T-Mobile would sell about 4 million iPhones in 2013 – fairly small compared to his global estimate of 179 million – but very significant to T-Mobile, which has been losing market share to its larger competitors – AT&T, Verizon and Sprint – in large part because the Big Three all sell Apple's iconic device.
"While this would be incrementally positive," Craig noted, "any financial impact would be limited," according to CNN Money.
Apple offers "unlocked" versions of its new iPhone 5, compatible with T-Mobile's HSPA+ network, but they cost you a pretty penny — $649, $749 and $849, depending on storage. That's way above the comparable subsidized prices of $200, $300 and $400 that AT&T, Verizon and Sprint are able to offer. There's little incentive to spend that much unless you're a die-hard T-Mo fan.
If this new report turns out to be right, things could really be looking up for Deutsche Telekom-owned T-Mobile USA. The company's board recently approved the purchase of MetroPCS, America's fifth-largest wireless provider. It only needs regulatory approval, which is widely expected next year.