T-Mobile, the nation’s fourth-largest carrier, lost nearly half a million customers mainly because they are the only major U.S. teleco without Apple’s iPhone.
While its losses in the third quarter were down from 557,000 last quarter, 492,000 lost contracts is nothing to sneeze at. It’s also up from 389,000 lost contracts in the same quarter last year. As a result, revenue for the quarter shrank 6.4% to $4.9 billion. T-Mobile ended the quarter with 33.3 million customers.
A media release places the blame directly on the iPhone 5’s launch. Many customers defected to rivals AT&T, Verizon and Sprint, which all carry Apple’s new smartphone. In the meantime, T-Mobile is continuing to modernize their networks to be more compatible with the iPhone and has 1900MHz HSPA+ service available to customers in five major areas: Las Vegas, Kansas City, Washington D.C., Baltimore and Houston.
They announced last month, a merger with MetroPCS to try and take Sprint’s prepaid market share. T-Mobile also launched new unlimited data plans this quarter and briefly tried a Bring Your iPhone campaign which caused some problems. The hope was it would persuade unlocked iPhone owners to sign up. They’ve also doubled down on their advertisements with flashy commercials and new banner ads. Ditching the one shown above for this:
And it still wasn’t enough.