Even after T-Mobile pick-up, iPhone on MetroPCS not a given

But other MetroPCS phones to run on T-Mobile

Apple iPhone

T-Mobile CEO John Legere said on Wednesday that Apple's iPhone could well wind up on MetroPCS, though it's not necessarily a given.

T-Mobile and the pre-paid carrier merged into a single company in a deal that was finalized this morning, but the two brands will remain separate for now.

CNET reported today that T-Mobile will expand the MetroPCS brand to new markets and even add some of its own phones to the carrier's lineup of devices.

But that doesn't mean the iPhone is on its way to MetroPCS. Legere also gave the word to AllThingsD that if it does happen, it won't be any time soon.

One day, maybe...but probably

Legere said there are two factors that must be considered in bringing the iPhone to Metro.

For one thing, T-Mobile hasn't decided yet just how the two brands will mesh.

Then of course there's Apple to deal with, though Legere hinted that discussion has already begun with the phone maker.

Still, the iPhone on MetroPCS "is not imminent," Legere said. "I think that's safe to say."

A tale of new cities

T-Mobile's other plans for the merger involve creating devices with MetroPCS branding that run on T-Mobile's network, which could begin arriving as early as June.

T-Mobile Chief Marketing Officer Mike Sievert further explained to CNET that MetroPCS retail stores will carry only phones that run on T-Mobile's network by the end of the year.

Legere added that MetroPCS phones on T-Mo's larger network will allow the smaller brand to expand to new cities, a strategy that will be pursued "fast and big," Legere said.

We asked T-Mobile to clarify what specific devices will be offered, but a spokesperson informed us that they had nothing to add beyond emphasizing that devices will start appearing in MetroPCS stores this quarter.

Stuck in fourth

The merger between T-Mobile and MetroPCS was detailed a week ago when the fourth- and fifth-place U.S. wireless carriers announced that the marriage was almost finalized.

Today, MetroPCS's 8.9 million customers were joined with T-Mobile's 33.4 million, which still keeps T-Mobile in fourth behind Sprint, Verizon and AT&T.

Nevertheless, MetroPCS Chairman and CEO Roger Linquist insisted in a press release last week that the "combination with T-Mobile will create the value leader in the U.S. wireless marketplace."

We shall see.