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T-Mobile back to losing subs without iPhone, new Android

updated 11:20 am EST, Fri February 25, 2011

T-Mobile Q4 sees it lose 23,000 customers

T-Mobile's US branch swung back to losing subscribers owing to its struggles to lure customers away from the iPhone and rival Android supporters. It lost a total of 23,000 subscribers in its latest quarter, ended in January, where it had added 137,000 users the season before and 371,000 a year ago. The overall customer turnover rate was also up to 3.6 percent and about three times higher than what was seen at AT&T and Verizon.

Most of the turnover was blamed on prepaid users, but the absolute subscriber losses were chiefly blamed on a loss of 318,000 contract customers, the core of its smartphone base. T-Mobile didn't give a specific explanation as to what was causing the losses but pointed to "competitive intensity" that implied switches to AT&T and Verizon for the iPhone and Android lineups.

The carrier mostly took comfort in its average data revenue per person shooting up 25.5 percent in the past year, a reflection of more of its customers moving over to smartphones like the T-Mobile G2 and Samsung Vibrant.

Most of the company's plans for success are hinging on the devices that are shipping just recently or in the near future, such as the Samsung Galaxy S 4G and its first Android 3.0 tablet, the LG G-Slate.

The carrier along with Sprint has regularly had trouble maintaining customers over the past few years and in many cases could attribute the defections to customers leaving for either AT&T or Verizon. T-Mobile in its summer quarter directly blamed a lack of the iPhone for the problem. It has dropped periodic clues that it's talking to Apple about a deal using the same coded language Verizon used, but separate leaks haven't popped up to corroborate the claims so far.

by MacNN Staff



  1. facebook_Justin

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Feb 2011


    comment title

    Good, thats what you get for LYING and saying you have a 4G network when you don't.

  1. Inkling

    Joined: Dec 1969


    T-Mobile's a good deal

    For those who don't want to spend a lot on their cellular service, T-Mobile's pre-pay is an excellent deal at a dime a minute with unlimited roll-overs when you meet a few conditions. I combine it with Skype's dial-out service, using the latter for longer calls. With Skype on my iPhone, I can get U.S. long distance for a little over 2 cents a minute anywhere I can access WiFi.

    A friend who works for T-Mobile told me that their president has begged Steve of the Hard Heart to let them sell iPhones to no avail. There's a lot of used iPhones around, so perhaps T-Mobile should just say "to heck with Apple" and add iPhones to their list of supported phones. Getting visual voice mail would be particularly nice.

    T-Mobile might also work out agreements with both Google Voice and Skype to create a 'synergy' plan that'd work with both iPhones and Droid phones, and that'd be better than each service standing alone. They might also consider adding an inexpensive pay-per-byte plan to their prepay service. Give that data flow lower priority than their regular customers and any money they earn would be pure profit.

    With some 'think different' innovation and creativity, T-Mobile can turn around that outflow. And I'd be quite happy to beta test some of those new features for them.

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