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  • T-Mobile Blames 700,000 Lost Subscribers on iPhone 4S


    T-Mobile is hemorrhaging subscribers. And the carrier says Apple is chiefly to blame.

    More specifically, the white-hot launch of the iPhone 4S last October has apparently contributed greatly to the massive number of subscribers T-Mobile say it has lost since that time.

    If you've been tuned out to the earnings reports on Wall Street this week, T-Mobile failed to wow with its latest quarterly earnings report. In fact, the carrier's loss of nearly three-quarters of a million subscribers (700,000) is being directly attributed to the popularity of the iPhone 4S.

    Consumers simply flocked to the new iPhone from all directions - as evidenced by Apple's most recent quarterly earnings report. And it looks like T-Mobile - the only major carrier in the U.S. to not offer the iPhone - suffered dearly as a consequence.

    "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 bemoaned in its report. "Not carrying the iPhone led to a significant increase in contract deactivations in the fourth quarter of 2011," added T-Mobile USA CEO Phillipp Humm. "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."

    But without the iPhone, it remains to be seen just how much "growth" the carrier can really achieve when its subscribers leave in droves to follow the newest Apple smartphone to AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon.

    Source: New York Times
    This article was originally published in forum thread: T-Mobile Blames 700,000 Lost Subscribers on iPhone 4S started by Michael Essany View original post
    Comments 34 Comments
    1. kline1's Avatar
      kline1 -
      Didnt TMO say at the end of last year that they didnt need the iPhone? I guess they do huh.
    1. BenderRodriguez's Avatar
      BenderRodriguez -
      Well that's the only good network for untethers then I guess seeing that their probably not setup for iPhone bandwidths and price and junk like *** AT&T dumb data limiting on unlimited plans
    1. unison999's Avatar
      unison999 -
      Quote Originally Posted by kline1 View Post
      Didnt TMO say at the end of last year that they didnt need the iPhone? I guess they do huh.
      They are just making excuses for the loss.
      The excuses has to be something they can not control (Apple), thus the management do not look bad and can continue to receive high pay for doing bad job.
      What they should be doing is contributing to the hackers that is working on unlocks, if you can unlock phones you get more subscribers.
    1. Donnutt's Avatar
      Donnutt -
      GO AT&T on limiting data hogs! Makes my speed incredibly fast.
    1. Zenitram's Avatar
      Zenitram -
      Being the only carrier (of the major ones), not to carry the iPhone obviously did hurt them. I'm in an odd spot though as I'm waiting for the iPhone 5 to come out to upgrade my 3GS, but don't want to re-up with AT&T since reception with them stinks in my area. T-Mobile has the best call reception in my area.

      Is it a done deal that T-Mobile will not get the iPhone ever, or will there perhaps be a change by the time the "5" rolls around? My 3GS is on it's last legs as well. I may have to go non-contract for a bit with T-Mobile or something. Ugh.
    1. randyj's Avatar
      randyj -
      I never wanted to leave them but I called them and told them straight up that I needed a new iPhone but couldn't afford the $600 for a no-contract 4S to use on their network so I had to break down and switch. Just 1 of 700,000 apparently.
    1. BenderRodriguez's Avatar
      BenderRodriguez -
      Quote Originally Posted by Donnutt View Post
      GO AT&T on limiting data hogs! Makes my speed incredibly fast.
      Just cause I want to watch Netflix doesnt mean they have to be dicks about data. I used 12 gigs like 6 months ago doing the same thing and never got yelled at or data limited but after using just 2 gigs this months get yelled at? AT&T SUCKS
    1. GeoffS4's Avatar
      GeoffS4 -
      ---change to earlier statement---
    1. thevmax's Avatar
      thevmax -
      "T-Mobile is hemorrhaging subscribers. And the carrier says Apple is chiefly to blame."

      NO. TMOBILE is primarily to be blamed. If they had gotten together with Apple and decided
      on a plan of attack...this could have been avoided.
    1. MoDaLoT's Avatar
      MoDaLoT -
      I would've loved to see the iPhone on T-Mobile service. But a lot of people did not want T-Mobile and AT&T to emerge. I think that the iPhone should've just been on AT&T not Sprint and definitely not on Verizon.
    1. m.catamount's Avatar
      m.catamount -
      Can't lie.. I was one of em
    1. Tucnepo's Avatar
      Tucnepo -
      Although apple sold iphone exclusively with at&t and ripped hugh profit from them, but selling them on all major networking is unstoppable! The bigger user base number more sale will be submitted thru appstore itunes store ibooks ect. Att cant mess with that neither can tmobile. Tmobile isnt looking at the bigger picture here, iphone as of now still the most popular smart phone on the market,ignore that will cost you
    1. Macmac80210's Avatar
      Macmac80210 -
      I left TMO for ATT because I wanted the 4S. I was tired of the unlock/jailbreak cycle and I wanted a phone that just worked. The Gevey was a pain and took my phone and my four other lines and left.
    1. MoDaLoT's Avatar
      MoDaLoT -
      I still say that they should've gave the iPhone to T-Mobile too just like they did to the other carriers.They was so worried about AT&T and T-Mobile global takeover. Both of the carriers lost tremendously a lot of money because of the deal not going through. AT&T by buying into T-Mobile and T-Mobile losing customers because of the new iPhone that generates lost money

      Quote Originally Posted by Macmac80210 View Post
      I left TMO for ATT because I wanted the 4S. I was tired of the unlock/jailbreak cycle and I wanted a phone that just worked. The Gevey was a pain and took my phone and my four other lines and left.
      I am in the same process soon these four months is over with my contract with T-Mobile. I will be leaving T-Mobile too a official iPhone carrier.
    1. Tashawn's Avatar
      Tashawn -
      I been faithful to T-Mobile since the original sidekick. I been using T-Mobile on my iPhone since 2008. I'm leaving if I can't unlock the next iPhone. I'm tired of Edge as well.
    1. swifty7's Avatar
      swifty7 -
      I'm one of the subscribers that flocked to Sprint after 10 years and the funny parts is that when I talked to this lady on the phone to deactivate my t-mobile account, she asked me why I wanted to cancel my account after such a long time and I replied because of the iphone.
    1. MoDaLoT's Avatar
      MoDaLoT -
      Quote Originally Posted by swifty7 View Post
      I'm one of the subscribers that flocked to Sprint after 10 years and the funny parts is that when I talked to this lady on the phone to deactivate my t-mobile account, she asked me why I wanted to cancel my account after such a long time and I replied because of the iphone.
      That's funny😃 I don't know why they asked that question to.
    1. miladkhahil's Avatar
      miladkhahil -
      Quote Originally Posted by randyj View Post
      I never wanted to leave them but I called them and told them straight up that I needed a new iPhone but couldn't afford the $600 for a no-contract 4S to use on their network so I had to break down and switch. Just 1 of 700,000 apparently.
      Electronista reports:

      “T-Mobile’s CTO Neville Ray used a call discussing the company’s latest results to single out the iPhone as an objective. At least the switch to 1,900MHz for HSPA+ was highlighted as focusing on Apple. While he wouldn’t say if that involved the LTE network as well, it was apparent the carrier was making changes to potentially court an iPhone launch.”

      The report went on to say that T-Mobile mentioned Apple’s handset a full 7 times during its earnings call. The carrier obviously sees the iPhone as something necessary to its survival. Hey, it might’ve saved Sprint.

      Even if T-Mobile can’t get Apple on board, making its network fully iPhone compatible would serve it well. The carrier is currently tracking more than one million unlocked iPhone users, and could see many more if features like 3G data and MMS worked properly.
    1. daytonaviolet's Avatar
      daytonaviolet -
      tmo needs 1900mhz
    1. Orby's Avatar
      Orby -
      Quote Originally Posted by kline1 View Post
      Didnt TMO say at the end of last year that they didnt need the iPhone? I guess they do huh.
      Assuming you're talking about 2010, not 2011: that was the "idyllic" time (by T-Mo's standards I imagine) when VZW and Sprint had no iPhone and no way to get it. AT&T was the sole iPhone house, and TMo (via jailbreak and unlock) was the only other option for American iPhone owners. It also helps that they had about five million more subscribers.

      A failed buyout and much larger iPhone market penetration now that even regional carriers have the device and they don't... means they're sunk and must organize another plan of attack. Their previous swagger has evaporated like a misting of rain on hot Southern California pavement.

      Quote Originally Posted by daytonaviolet View Post
      tmo needs 1900mhz
      The sooner they get this done (Band II UMTS/HSPA+) the sooner they are far more attractive to iPhone owners and the sooner they can roll out their AWS-based LTE. They're behind even Sprint even in their deployment plans--and that is a position they cannot afford to be trapped in.