T-Mobile US says it lost 700K subscribers 'primarily' due to iPhone 4S launch

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014


T-Mobile U.S. this week reported disappointing quarterly earnings, and blamed a loss of more than 700,000 contract customers on Apple's October introduction of the iPhone 4S.



T-Mobile remains the only major carrier in the U.S. that does not offer Apple's iPhone. With last year's launch of the iPhone 4S, Sprint joined AT&T and Verizon, and Apple even added C-Spire, a smaller, regional U.S. carrier.



"Sequentially, the decline in branded net contract customers was driven primarily by higher branded contract deactivations as a result of the launch of the iPhone 4S by three nationwide competitors in mid-October," T-Mobile said in its earnings report.



Without the iPhone, T-Mobile lost 706,000 contract customers in the fourth quarter of 2011. In fact, Apple's iPhone was mentioned a total of seven times in a press release issued by T-Mobile, well more than any phone that the carrier actually does offer.



"Not carrying the iPhone led to a significant increase in contract deactivations in the fourth quarter of 2011," T-Mobile USA President and CEO Phillipp Humm said. "In 2012 and 2013, T-Mobile USA will invest to get the business back to growth, including an incremental $1.4 billion investment in its network modernization initiative, which will total a $4 billion investment over time."



Service revenues were down 2.7 percent year over year to $4.6 billion in the fourth quarter of 2011, due primarily to customer losses.



Though company officials are unhappy with their contract customer losses and decreased total revenues, they does hope to start building out a 4G long-term evolution (LTE) network with the spectrum it obtained from AT&T after the rival carrier's proposed takeover fell through. Its "network modernization plan" calls for LTE rollout to begin in 2013.



Total customers served by T-Mobile at the end of 2011 was 33.2 million, making it the fourth-largest carrier in the U.S. behind Sprint. T-Mobile had a net loss of 526,000 total customers in the quarter.











The main reason T-Mobile does not offer the iPhone is because its network's frequency band is incompatible with current versions of the iPhone. While the iPhone can place calls on T-Mobile's network, it cannot connect to the carrier's unique high-speed 3G frequency.



Still, a fair number of users have obtained unlocked iPhones and utilize them on T-Mobile's network to place calls and use data at slower 2G "EDGE" speeds. That led T-Mobile to begin offering official support for subscribers using unlocked iPhones.



[ View article on AppleInsider ]

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Comments

  • lkrupplkrupp Posts: 4,066member
    Before long could we be hearing demands that the government force Apple to make the iPhone available to all carriers? In the interest of "fairness" of course. And while they're at it the government could also dictate the terms under which Apple would be required to provide any carrier with the iPhone.



    Sounds far fetched? Don't bet on it. Tech forums of full of idiots proposing just such nonsense.
  • akaneoakaneo Posts: 4member
    You mean the T-Mobiile 'Winter Wonderland' commercials didn't pay off for them!???
  • rcoleman1rcoleman1 Posts: 153member
    IMHO I think that ALL U.S. carriers should negotiate with Apple to get the iPhone and stop making so many mediocre Android phones:-)
  • absolutedesignzabsolutedesignz Posts: 1,930member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by rcoleman1 View Post


    IMHO I think that ALL U.S. carriers should negotiate with Apple to get the iPhone and stop making so many mediocre Android phones:-)



    agreed.



    Mediocre Android phones (and poor OEM and carrier management of the Android platform) is ruining Android.



    Even though ICS has been available for 4 going on 5 months now I guarantee we'll still see 2.3.X devices for the next few months...horribly skinned with stupid gimmicks and ugly screens.



    Anyone who doesn't get a Nexus device is risking throwing out their money.
  • greginpraguegreginprague Posts: 415member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post


    Before long could we be hearing demands that the government force Apple to make the iPhone available to all carriers? In the interest of "fairness" of course. And while they're at it the government could also dictate the terms under which Apple would be required to provide any carrier with the iPhone.



    Sounds far fetched? Don't bet on it. Tech forums of full of idiots proposing just such nonsense.



    It would make a least as much sense for the government to redistribute wireless spectrum held by various mobile companies and other entities so that T-Mobile wouldn't have to operate it's 3g service on the odd 1700mhz and 2100mhz spectrum.



    Why only make Apple sacrifice?
  • misamisa Posts: 662member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post


    Before long could we be hearing demands that the government force Apple to make the iPhone available to all carriers? In the interest of "fairness" of course. And while they're at it the government could also dictate the terms under which Apple would be required to provide any carrier with the iPhone.



    Sounds far fetched? Don't bet on it. Tech forums of full of idiots proposing just such nonsense.



    Apple doesn't offer it because the stand alone Qualcomm Gobi radio chip series doesn't support it. The Qualcomm radio in many Android phones is part of the Qualcomm CPU (Look up the Snapdragon S3 and S4.)



    So it's not like Qualcomm doesn't know how to produce the part, rather I think they just chose not to re-engineer their 3G UMTS logic for the 1700 AWS band until they could add it to a future 4G chip that supporting LTE.



    When you look at Qualcomm's page here: https://developer.qualcomm.com/disco...nd-modems/gobi : AWS is specificly mentioned under the 3000 series.
  • holmstockdholmstockd Posts: 47member
    I been with t-mob since 07 - and there customer service has always been stellar - but heres is why they LOST so many (IMHO).



    1. The merger with AT&T scared the heck out of so many people - a lot of t-mob subscribers were people that fled from AT&T so they did not want to go back.



    2. Coverage coverage coverage! rural areas still suck in my home town in VA, and it HAS NOT BEEN improved SINCE i started with them as far as i know they have made no attempt to do so.

    I am still on EDGE in my home town so i really don't care for 3g/lte - we just DONT HAVE IT...



    3. Areas that were GOOD in coverage now i get dropped calls and low signal. this is new and its never happened before.



    4. Customer service has taken a hit, maybe due to lack of moral - people worried over their jobs and frankly they just don't care.



    5. the phones they offer do suck - they have a chance and blew it with the GS II by stripping out the better processor just to get better 3g speeds. Every other phone there just about blows - I have the HTC radar and it has only 8 gig internal! WOW - I had the iPhone 1, 3gs and 4 - got tired of it - had all the androids got tired of it - then they get the top of the line blackberry (oxy moron) the bold 9900 and price it out of reach! i had it and sold it - it sucked! and now its back to wp7 on edge - yeah!



    So T-Mob needs to take a look in the mirror and STOP ONLY blaming it on LACK OF IPHONE!
  • nexttechnocratinexttechnocrati Posts: 74member
    It proves that Siri's voice is more hot than the girl wearing a pink polka-dot dress.

  • suddenly newtonsuddenly newton Posts: 13,091member
    I think Apple was scared away by all the pink in T-Mobile's branding and advertising.
  • delanydelany Posts: 51member
    They lost me partly because I switched to the iPhone.



    However, the other reason is ... they did nothing to keep me. I was with them for over 6 years and not once did they give me any offer or discount for being a loyal customer. In fact, quite the opposite - the discounts were better for new customers than long term ones.



    This seems to be the case with all US carriers - they do nothing to encourage customer loyalty. Then they wonder why people find it so easy to switch.



    D
  • gwmacgwmac Posts: 1,795member
    There is a rumor circulating that since Sprint is building out their LTE network and T-Mobile has a nice chunk of 1900MHz PCS spectrum that T-Mobile could partner with Sprint and allow them to use that spectrum to enhance their LTE build out and in exchange Sprint could then have a much larger and more robust LTE network that it could share with T-Mobile.



    Sprint also owns spectrum in the 800Mhz block which is currently being used by Nextel but they are in the process of decommissioning the old Nextel IDEN network and will eventually convert all of that to LTE as well. 800MHz will be better for building penetration. Not as good as AT&T or Vetizon's 700MHz spectrum, but nearly as good.



    Maybe if T-Mobile and Sprint can work out a mutually beneficial spectrum sharing agreement that would give both a more robust network and eventually even allow an iPhone to come to T-Mobile. The iPhone already works on T-Mobile for voice calls and maybe it could work on LTE on Sprint's 1900MHz PCS for 4G data.
  • realisticrealistic Posts: 1,111member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post


    Before long could we be hearing demands that the government force Apple to make the iPhone available to all carriers? In the interest of "fairness" of course. And while they're at it the government could also dictate the terms under which Apple would be required to provide any carrier with the iPhone.



    Sounds far fetched? Don't bet on it. Tech forums of full of idiots proposing just such nonsense.



    This is ridiculous the US govt would never go down that path. Let anybody / everybody demand all they want but it will never happen.
  • bwinskibwinski Posts: 160member
    Let's look back, in the not so distant time-travel device called Google Search... THIS quarters numbers AND last quarters LOSS OF CUSTOMERS is EXACTLY the same number (close).... SO, if they stay on a trajectory like this, they'll be OUT OF CUSTOMERS soon... HA!



    Given that T-Mumble has the WORST MARKETING ORGANIZATION on Earth and the WORST CMO in the history of mankind - still, maybe that's the strategy!!! Kill it all and start over??



    These people are morons if they think Apple is going to lift a single finger to help them unless it's to purchase their spectrum at garbage dump prices and scrap the rest...



    CLUE FREE...
  • sockrolidsockrolid Posts: 2,576member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    [...] Total customers served by T-Mobile at the end of 2011 was 33.2 million, making it the fourth-largest carrier in the U.S. behind Sprint. T-Mobile had a net loss of 526,000 total customers in the quarter. [...]



    Time to bust a move or die trying. Nothing to lose by being more aggressive with rolling out LTE.



    Time for a new slogan: We're #4. We try harder.
  • geoffrobinsongeoffrobinson Posts: 54member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by akaneo View Post


    You mean the T-Mobiile 'Winter Wonderland' commercials didn't pay off for them!???



    The T-Mobile girl won't go on a date with you if you buy a phone, so the ads don't work.
  • solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    Off Topic: So where are all the Android phones being sold if the iPhone has such a huge dominance in the US? It's sounding like they are being sold as feature phones with no data plans in poor markets where users can use them as PC replacements when on WiFi, but that's just speculation.
  • charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,069member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post


    Before long could we be hearing demands that the government force Apple to make the iPhone available to all carriers?



    And then Apple would kick it back and point out all the other smart phones that are just on one or two select carriers. And either the government would drop the demand on Apple or would increase it to say that all phones must be on all tech and carriers with a deadline of say 3 years from now.



    The latter wouldn't be a bad thing in my book but only if it comes with requiring that one unit handle all tech, that ETF fees actually be reduced by 1/nth with n being the number of months in the contract and with the fee being a separate line item such that if I buy a full price phone or bring in a phone of my own that fee isn't on my bill because I don't owe that 1/nth a month to them since they didn't subsidize anything.
  • cowhidecowhide Posts: 49member
    Ha, Ha.

    Maybe now you will change your ads
  • cmvsmcmvsm Posts: 204member
    Advertising 101 - Never mention your competitors name within your ads. Guess T-mobile will stop doing this from now on.
  • Quote:
    Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post


    Before long could we be hearing demands that the government force Apple to make the iPhone available to all carriers? In the interest of "fairness" of course. And while they're at it the government could also dictate the terms under which Apple would be required to provide any carrier with the iPhone.



    Sounds far fetched? Don't bet on it. Tech forums of full of idiots proposing just such nonsense.



    I am not aware of any tools the government could use to do that. Therefore, I see the idea as far-fetched.
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