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

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
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 ]
post #2 of 25
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.
post #3 of 25
You mean the T-Mobiile 'Winter Wonderland' commercials didn't pay off for them!???
post #4 of 25
IMHO I think that ALL U.S. carriers should negotiate with Apple to get the iPhone and stop making so many mediocre Android phones:-)
post #5 of 25
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.
post #6 of 25
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?
post #7 of 25
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.
post #8 of 25
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!
post #9 of 25
It proves that Siri's voice is more hot than the girl wearing a pink polka-dot dress.
post #10 of 25
I think Apple was scared away by all the pink in T-Mobile's branding and advertising.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #11 of 25
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
post #12 of 25
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.

"A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools." Douglas Adams

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"A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools." Douglas Adams

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post #13 of 25
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...
post #14 of 25
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.

Sent from my iPhone Simulator

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Sent from my iPhone Simulator

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post #15 of 25
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.
post #16 of 25
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.

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

Reply
post #17 of 25
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.

A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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post #18 of 25
Ha, Ha.
Maybe now you will change your ads
post #19 of 25
Advertising 101 - Never mention your competitors name within your ads. Guess T-mobile will stop doing this from now on.
post #20 of 25
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.
post #21 of 25
Yep. And AT&T is going to lose me to sprint when the ip5 comes out...p'haps sooner! AT&T's plans are draconian for this day and age....I don't want to pay over $100/mo. to have to stop looking over my shoulder all the time for excessive overages! Ugh!

Reminds me of cable companies and big banks that are run by vultures and thieves!
post #22 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by delany View Post

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

I can't stress how this is so true enough. It's the reason why I left them too, as they decided to raise my monthly rate after calling me to let me know that they were discontinuing their old plans.
post #23 of 25
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.

How about simply the iPhone being declared FRAND?
post #24 of 25
If I was a T-Mobile subscriber I would surely leave too.

No iPhone - then there isn't a reason for me to keep paying monthly fees.
post #25 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by AdrianJNYC View Post

No iPhone - then there isn't a reason for me to keep paying monthly fees.

No iPhone is the only reason I like T-Mobile. If you don't want a forced data plan, you can go to T-Mobile and not have one. When they get the iPhone, they'll force data plans. They'll force data plans on their iPhone users that haven't had them for five years running. And every single one of them will complain and there'll probably be a class-action lawsuit.

I'd be on T-Mobile with my iPhone right now, except they have no service where I live.
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