T-Mobile COO: We Want The iPhone, But Not If We Have To Make Sacrifices

Speaking at the Morgan Stanley 12th Annual Technology, Media & Telecoms Conference in Barcelona, T-Mobile COO Jim Alling admitted the carrier is at a disadvantage without the iPhone. However, Alling adds that T-Mobile USA won’t make sacrifices to bring the iPhone to its portfolio.

“Make no mistake about it: We would love to carry the iPhone. However, we want the economies to be right for us.”

Alling added that his company would not sign a deal like the one “a competitor” recently signed with Apple that won’t allow them to turn a profit until 2015. Alling’s comments didn’t mention Sprint as the unnamed “competitor,” but Sprint has gone on record saying that the iPhone has drastically driven up their subsidy cost. However, Sprint hopes the iPhone will pay off in the long-term via reduced churn and higher data ARPUs. Alling was very upfront as he said he’s aware that the iPhone is a thorn in the side for T-Mobile and has led to customer churn. “We recognize that it has been a point of churn for us.”

Continuing with the iPhone discussion, Alling hopes that with 1.5 million unlocked iPhones now operating on T-Mobile’s network, that number will increase as they continue their network modernization project to allow handsets to fully utilize HSPA+ on the 1900MHz band.

T-Mobile execs, including Alling have gone on record at this event as saying the introduction of an LTE-enabled iPhone 5 in the third quarter of 2012 negatively affected T-Mobile’s business and will likely impact it in the fourth quarter. T-Mobile does hope that the Galaxy S III and presumably the  introduction of the Nexus 4 will work to keep current customers.

On the subject of MetroPCS, Alling said re-emphasized that T-Mobile will retain the MetroPCS brand, and expand it as a national sub-brand, similar to Virgin Mobile or Boost Mobile and Sprint.

Fierce Wireless

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  • nycplayboy78

    UGH…T-Mobile don’t need the iPhone you have the Galaxy Note II and the Galaxy S III in your uber lineup :)

    • http://tmonews.com David

      They do need it, see “churn.” Android alone isn’t enough to stop customers from leaving, they need if it for no other reason than to stop the bleeding.

      • nycplayboy78

        If T-Mo does get it the price will be so HIGH….LAWD!!!!

        • http://tmonews.com David

          The price on T-Mobile would be exactly what it is anywhere else, Apple dictates the price it’s sold on carriers.

        • eanfoso

          Damn that sucks! Oh well at least Apple is losing market share, people are beginning to realize what a lame manufacturer Apple is

        • Whitney

          Well apparently according to my stock app Apple is up

        • 30014

          Unless you own apple stock that doesn’t mean a damn thing to you. I can’t believe you people expect T-Mobile to just let Apple bend them over like they did sprint. GTFOH with that nonsense.

        • Jose Hernandez

          Would it be great if T-Mobile sold the iPhone? Sure, should they commit financial suicide by getting it. Not so sure. The problem here is that as long as Apple is demanding an amount of money that will make very hard for T-Mobile to move forward, the deal will just not happen. T-Mobile can not bank on getting the iPhone and BAHM!!!! all is fixed. They know they have other issues to fix, that takes time and money to do. T-Mobile can not afford to just go all out on the iPhone. not yet. I do believe they will get it, but for right now, right or wrong they feel that the iPhone can wait while they get their other crap together. As long as they move forward and it is beneficial for the company and the customers, they need to do what they think is best. They may be wright or they may be wrong, it is their decision at the end of the day.

        • eanfoso

          Not since a month ago, look at it, it has dropped quite a bit, only expected from them, and you probably own nothing from Apple and want t-mobile to subsidized it so you can get it for cheap, shame shame shame :)

        • Jose Hernandez

          Question David, I thought that Apple dictated how much the carrier would have to pay for the phone, so, do they also dictate how much T-Mobile would have to sell the phone for? If that is the case, them would T-Mobile have to sell the phone to Classic Plan customers only? (in order to get the subsidized price). Would it be then, not possible for someone to get the phone on a Value Plan? T-Mobile seems to sell their phones for a little more than the other carriers, wold this still be the case here?

      • Ordeith

        I am considering leaving T-Mobile for the Lumia 920. That $50 price of entry on AT&T is mighty tempting.
        I think I will wait and see what the spring brings. T-Mobile sacrificing themselves for the iPhone will do nothing to stop this customer from churning.

      • Spanky

        T-Mobile also needs to improve their coverage to stop the churn. The lack of iPhone is a contributing factor to the churn, but definitely not the be all, end all.

    • AndroidJunkie

      apprantly those devices dont stop people from jumping ship. tell that to shareholders..

    • Whitney

      It not enough customers are still leaving

  • corona10

    And get an exclusive for a high end HTC device like AT&T does. And make them include and s/d card and removeable battery. IF Sprint can do it why cant tomobile? I hate the exclusives but this carrier rarely ever has any. I’m just sick of all the other carriers getting the flagship devices and by the time they get to tomobile if they come at all they’re no longer even new.

    • Whitney

      Still not enough

    • qpinto

      Tmobiles exclusive is the nexus 4. Tmobile is the only carrier to have it in store. Gee i Wonder why it’s sold out everywhere…

      • corona10

        Its not exclusive if you can buy it at 3rd party resellers or the Google Play store.

    • bleeew

      And they need to market the phones, and show why its better. Look at Verizons OG Droid commercials.

  • AndroidJunkie

    Tmobile in the 4th quarters is gonna lose 700k subs just watch. tmobile was never gonna get the iphone.. Apple never called them it was the other way around..

    When asked about the Apple-Sprint partnership, the CEO noted that the blessing came in the form of a phone call from Cupertino last year, saying, “I think the No. 1 thing was getting the call from Apple that they were interested in at least having the opportunity.” During the course of the conversation, Hesse commented that the iPhone is a good product for the long-term since customers are more valuable in the long run. “Today, looking back, I think it was the right decision,” Hesse added.

    Apple has no intrest in giving the iphone to tmobile.

    • Whitney

      I’m sure that Apple would for the right price. T-mobile needs to make a decision either screw the iphone and lose more customers or bite the bullet. People need to stop using Sprint as a reason not get the iphone. Sprint been struggling with their network before iphone

      • AndroidJunkie

        exactly back in the day sprint would lose 1 millions subs a quarter.. they had 48 million subs at one point and the networks was amazing cuz nobody was on it no they have 56 million subs… when they have lte up they will be fine but when customers come in to my store and cancel service its because they want the iphone.

        • Whitney

          They need to bite the bullet otherwise over the next few months it going iphone blame game. Their current line up is not stopping their customers from jumping the ship.

        • Spanky

          Having the iPhone won’t make customers stop from jumping the ship, either. It’ll slow down the churn, but it won’t stop it.

    • Carolina Media Sales

      Actually Apple has talked with T-Mobile about the device. You seriously think Apple has no interest in offering its device to another 33 million customers? Isn’t that like more than the entire population of Canada? The thing is that Apple has the upper hand in this situation because the iPhone is the most highly demanded device around. They know they can name their price. Plus they don’t really feel like making a separate device just for T-Mobile. Sprint got lucky that they use the same tech as Verizon so Apple didn’t have to do any extra work.

      • bleeew

        I just noticed T-Mobile has customers almost the size of Canada.

    • bleeew

      I know Apple is waiting for the iPhone deal on T-Mobile, because i’m sure they want to increase US market share, but I doubt they will make a cheaper deal for T-Mobile.

  • TheCudder

    Should have snatched up the Lumia 920, screw the iPhone.

    • http://tmonews.com David

      It amazes me that people say this, when one of the top three people in the company says its to blame for churn. Can we just stop this mindset already?

    • AndroidJunkie

      lol like a windows phone is gonna stop people from juming ship lol use ya brain.. avergage joes want the iphone not no windows phone.. theyll take a android over a windows phone

    • http://www.youtube.com/#/mrjlwilliams J. Williams

      The 920 is a BIG, bulky phone. All to help make a better camera? Crazy. I didn’t like the 920 when I used it, it weighs almost 200 grams. Waaaaaay too heavy.

  • http://www.youtube.com/#/mrjlwilliams J. Williams

    Oh lord, lol. The iPhone should be the least of their worries at this point. Focus on what you have…ie. Galaxy Note II, HTC 8X, Galaxy SIII, and the Nokia Lumia 810. All POWERFUL devices…If they can not afford to get it, stop making statements like this. Makes the company look very desperate, seriously. (and they are not a weak company, they just need to have better marketing)

    ‘quick plug’ click on my name to see my unboxing of my HTC 8X…woohoo!!!

    • Whitney

      Haven’t they done that all year? They still lost customers

      • http://www.youtube.com/#/mrjlwilliams J. Williams

        They have not done ANY marketing, sadly. What commercial have you seen on the HTC 8X, Lumia 810, or SGNOTE II from TMo? Send me the link, ’cause I’ve missed it.

        • Whitney

          This is what T-mobile needs to do. Get rid of Carly because she brings nothing to the table. Bite the bullet and actually market their phones.

        • http://www.youtube.com/#/mrjlwilliams J. Williams

          Agree with ya there, lol. For real

        • Joel_Axel

          i like carly, but i guess thats kinda true. they should commercials like verizon does about there 4g LTE. but instead tmobile should make commercials about how much would you pay and compare it to others.

        • bleeew

          Like what Verizon does. They advertise the Share plans and make them look good(when they are really not). And then advertise the phone(They advertised the Galaxy Nexus for $99 on 2-yr contract).

        • Whitney

          Verizon does really a good job on marketing their plans unlike T-mobile who markets Carly on a bike.

        • eanfoso

          This is the only thing you’ve said that totally makes sense, and it’s probably because you’re a girl and you get jealous of how carly looks with those tight pants riding a pink bike

        • Whitney

          okay what? Carly brings nothing to table. She utterly useless to T-mobile marketing campaign.

    • fsured

      They probably want to keep the topic of the Iphone not being officially sold on their network hush. Why would a competitor want to keep a negative selling point relevant in customers minds? What they can’t do is stop press or other organizations from asking about it. That means they need to respond with an answer. If they are voluntarily bringing it up, then yeah it is all of them to take the heat.

    • ghulamsameer

      To me and you, and likely anyone on this website, we know about the wide variety of phones that T-Mobile has in store. However, the general public does not. What a consumer sees is all of their friends having the trendy iPhone. While other phones look nice, they want to be a part of iMessage, FaceTime, all the extra gimmicks that make the iOS experience unique. I love T-Mobile, and I’ve been with them for a long time, but the iPhone is pretty necessary to them. Is it better to continuously lose hundreds of thousands of subscribers or not turn a profit for a little while. I don’t know, but I do know that T-Mobile needs the iPhone.

      • http://www.youtube.com/#/mrjlwilliams J. Williams

        Thanks for your opinion, however. I disagree sir, and again. Thanks.

  • KJ98e

    Just got my Nexus 4 last night and works beautifully on TMobile.. Faster than my GNex and silky smooth. Pure Android FTW. My max download was 23Mbps!

  • Foxeh

    What’s with everyone around here suggesting T-Mobile doesn’t even need the iPhone? Just look around you… in the real world, that is. The number of unlocked iPhones on Magenta appears to have increased by 50% since they started refarming 1900 which isn’t a bad thing.

    I admit I’ve been considering it simply because Apple appears to be the only company willing to make a reasonably sized phone, but as an iPad owner, I’d rather not deal with Cupertino’s antics on something I rely on as much as my phone; but that’s me, that’s not the rest of the world.

    • Ordeith

      the world is 70% android, 13% iPhone. last sales reports.
      T-Mobile doesn’t need that blight.

      • http://tmonews.com David

        And yet here the COO is saying the company is losing customers because of the iPhone. No, makes total sense though. I don’t get it, those numbers mean absolutely nothing compared to what this guy, who is one of the top official in the company is saying.

        • Ordeith

          He seems to have “blame everybody but yourself” syndrome. It is protectionist, and it seems to work. He does appear to be effectively moving the spotlight to the easy target.

        • 21stNow

          Yes, it does seem to be along the lines of a guy that’s a jerk saying “I can’t get a girl because I don’t drive a Porsche” when plenty of guys without a Porsche have successful relationships. Verizon Wireless didn’t have the iPhone from 2007-Feb 2011 and they were the largest carrier. At this point, it’s just an excuse for T-Mobile.

        • http://tmonews.com David

          Verizon had a lot more going for it than T-Mobile did/does. That’s not a fair example, Verizon is the biggest because of a combination of network quality, customer support and terrific marketing. T-Mobile has some stigmas working against them in all three of those categories.

        • Ordeith

          and T-Mobile would do better investing their resources in fixing those issues than playing the iPhone blame game and chasing that particular unicorn.

        • 21stNow

          I don’t want to argue with you David…but, terrific marketing is the only one of those three that I have found to be true in two separate periods as a VZW customer. Marketing creates the perception that the customer support and network quality are better than they actually are. I know that everyone’s experience is different, but the perception that their marketing has created does not match the reality for me.

          T-Mobile made many mistakes and had missed opportunities in the past. My opinion (for what it’s worth) is that T-Mobile took way too long to go after businesses; AT&T and Verizon Wireless went after business customers years ago, even when their networks didn’t have great reputations. Having confusing and ever-changing voice plans doesn’t help either. Even though I support BYOD plans fully, the average consumer doesn’t get it. It would take great marketing and sales support to sell this to the masses.

  • eanfoso

    Iphone no iphone who cares? In a value plan which saves a ridiculous amount of money we would have to buy it at retail price, but hopefully t-mobile prioritize the refarming more than just getting a stupid phone and instead of us getting a customer Churn we’d get a spectrum churn which in my opinion is a lot worse, ask at&t when they had exclusivity of the iphone, I know because I used to be with them and it was a joke to Even try to make a call

    • Whitney

      A lot people apparently don’t agree with you

      • eanfoso

        Those people don’t have a brain, look at all those retards that own an iphone they know nothing about it, it’s a shame that even symbian and MeeGo phones have swype but ios doesn’t

        • Whitney

          Erick shut up.

  • nd5

    So the real answer to this is that T-Mobile needs to aggressively finish the refarm so that we can use the iPhone on 3G, and then offer unlocked iPhones through EIP for Value plans. They need to stop screwing around and just get this done. I don’t even think it has to be the iPhone 5, people would probably be happy with the 4S.

    • Whitney

      The iphone 5 has LTE though. I agree T-mobile needs bite the bullet and get it over with. They are in a better position then Sprint was when they first got it.

      • AndroidJunkie

        tmobile in a better postion? are u crazy.. sprint just got 3 billion from softbank to do whatever they want and another 5 billion is coming untill the deal gets approved. tmobile doesnt have that money. infact read this analyst state several reasons why sprint is in a much better postion that tmobile.

        http://m.seekingalpha.com/article/1014141

        • Whitney

          I was talking about before Softbank come into the picture

  • Dakota

    While it’s true that the iPhone is a reason for churn, I’m always miffed at how T-Mobile executives are always in denial about what else they’re doing wrong. Everything is always the iPhone fault.. Take a look inside; customers are leaning for a lot of reasons

    • Mirad77

      Totally agree with you. Look at the funny sale they now have, do they really think that many people will sign a 2 year contract and pay the full price of the phone? 4th quarter will be up in 40 days and how many refarm markets are up and running? Everything you want to do with Tmo is a new 2 yr contract. I can go on and on but there are ten reasons for the churn and iPhone is just one.

      • Spanky

        Precisely. I simply couldn’t agree more.

      • Whitney

        I know I won’t. I will not a buy a phone for full price and still have a be in a two year contract. I would rather pay $199 for a two year contract

        • eanfoso

          That’s just like that saying to each their own, some of us are smart enough to jump boat on a value plan, some of you aren’t that bright but it’s okay you guys pay more while we save enough money to get an upgrade every year instead of two :)

        • Whitney

          Shut up

        • eanfoso

          Truth hurts it’s okay and if you hate that t-mobile doesn’t carry the iphone you shouldn’t be in this article, this article focuses on the efforts t-mobile is putting in to make its network international-phone friendly, and as the title implies, if t-mobile were to make the dumb move in getting it they will have to sacrifice their refarming efforts

        • Spanky

          If you take advantage of the EIP with the Value Plan, you are paying the same monthly charges as the classic plan for 20 months, so you’re saving nothing. If you purchase the phone outright, you incur a hefty upfront expense. Although your monthly payments will be lower, you are still saving nothing.

    • Todd_the_Hunn

      Almost comes off as arrogant no ? ” Do you know how I am ? , Why am I even talking to you . We don’t need your phone ! ” The new TMO strategy is quite risky & strange . If you are going do what you can to limit subsidized devices you better be the unquestioned leader in pricing . I’m not so sure TMO is & the customer service ranking has been blown to pieces .

  • awatt

    You know way way back in the day in the early stages of T-Mobile 2003-2005ish. The philosphy was that T-Mobile was a service company not a cell phone company. Then the Razr came out and suddenly T-Mobile was nothing without it. History is repeating itself again, but to me? T-Mobile needs to go back to what T-Mobile was known for, customer service. People used to jump other ships because of the service side and people weren’t always jumping ship because of coverage. Some were jumping over to T-Mobile because of the customer service was much better. Now, with all the outsourcing and RPS reorganizing it seems T-Mobile is following the pact. It kills me everytime I call and someone from the Phillipines answers. I know T-Mobile is doing this because it’s cost effective. I bet if, some how, T-Mobile went back to being customer service oriented the churn would decrease. At least from what I have seen from my tenure, more people leave because of poor customer service than they do for new phones. There will always be people that churn for new phones, but not as many that churn for customer service.

    • Jose Hernandez

      agreed

    • Nick Gonzalez

      Why do people always bring up customer service? I have been with T-Mobile since 2004, and in these 8 years I’ve had to call customer service like maybe 4 times, to get my upgrade phones. It was a good experience i guess but seriously, how often do people need to talk to customer service? You must be getting some jacked up phones.
      I care about data/voice SERVICE.

      • Whitney

        Not everyone has the same experience

      • thepanttherlady

        Glad to hear you’ve received such excellent SERVICE. Not everyone calls customer service regarding a phone. I’ve had to call regarding their billing errors. Some calls have ended well, some not so well. :/

      • 21stNow

        Phone issues are not the only reason that customers call customer service. I had to call when they literally made my $30 prepaid balance AND my minutes disappear. Glitches happen (even though those should not have), but they had a hard time believing that I hadn’t actually used up all 100 minutes at that point in the month. It took four people to get my money and my minutes back.

        It’s the ethics in situations like this that make people not like T-Mobile. A bad situation happened through no action or inaction on my part. To then act like I’m lying, then have a slow process to correct it is even worse.

        • thepanttherlady

          My last call was a $400 error! They tried to charge me migration fees for 3 lines from our Classic plan to Value in a billing cycle prior to the change taking effect. Why you ask? Because I CALLED before my billing cycle to request the change. Not because the change was made retroactive, but because I physically called them and asked for the change to take effect in my NEXT billing cycle.

          Let’s just say, it was corrected. :)

    • UMA_Fan

      Didn’t T-Mobile carry the Razr?

      • Spanky

        They did, but AT&T had it exclusively for a year or so.

  • JB

    I like how straight forward Alling is. Sure it’s been said before, but it doesn’t seem it was said as candidly as he put it… but let’s face it guys, believe it or not, T-Mobile is hurting without the iPhone. Sure getting other high profile phones will help them out, and it looks like they are putting that best foot forward now, but the iPhone crowd is a very specific, albeit huge market. It’s been proven time and time again that people will flock to it, just because. When you’re a the only carrier that doesn’t officially sell the most popular device in the world, you’re seriously missing out on a gold mine.

    Though with that said, T-Mobile is doing the right thing by not financially crippling themselves any further by getting in bed with Apple. I would imagine they will be in a better portion to do so after the Metro PCS and network modernization efforts…

    • Whitney

      How long with that take

  • Mirad77

    T-Mobile has 99 problems and the iPhone is just one.

    • Whitney

      yea a huge one

      • Mirad77

        I don’t know how you size that out but regardless of which phone when you don’t have a network then the phone don’t mean sh**t. You dig?

  • http://www.youtube.com/#/mrjlwilliams J. Williams

    T-Mobile’s 3G network is faster thank most others, and even runs close to what some call ‘LTE’ speeds. So even if they were to offer it to only run ’3G’ people would buy it. However, it they DO get it. They are gonna charge very high prices, just like they do right now. Sadly.

  • Whitney

    T-mobile just needs to shut up with their blame iphone game just the bite bullet and get rid of Carly

    • AndroidProfit

      Ya what do those company execs with their research know anyway!

  • qpinto

    People say iPhone is needed. Some want it, some don’t. T-Mobile is smart for not getting the iPhone until the HSPA+ reform is complete. 1. They don’t need to have a specific iPhone built. 2. The reform allows all euro phones to work on the network. Ultimately this is the best way to go about expansion. Bring any device you want as long as it is gsm and you can use it. It might not seem like a big deal now however T-Mobile will change us cell phone service prices forever.

  • Frank Alvarez

    They’ve refarmed 1/2 my town; just not where I live yet, but I’m excited that my iPhone will soon be zipping along at Hspa+ speeds for less than $45 a month!

  • Notjusttheiphone

    No iPhone, no HTC One X, no HTC One X+, no Nokia Lumina 920, the Nexus 4 is sold out, no LG Optimus G. About marketing, you can name the names of every city in the US, it doesn’t matter. Show people that HSPA+ is just as fast, if not faster in some markets as LTE.

  • AndroidProfit

    David this article is making the Android princesses get their pretty thongs all twisted.

    • http://tmonews.com David

      I hate to admit to agreeing with you, but I do. It’s disappointing how many people let their own love for another smartphone OS get in the way of logical thinking. You don’t have to like or want the iPhone to recognize that the company is losing customers because they don’t have it.

      • Ordeith

        It is disappointing how many iPhone lovers think it is the answer to everything.
        So T-Mobile gets the iPhone and the churn doesn’t stop, what do they blame then?

        • Guest911

          Your comment indicates that you either dont know enough or are too blinded to understand the issue.

        • Ordeith

          I would say the same about your comment.

        • http://tmonews.com David

          The iPhone is hardly the only reason the company is losing customers, but based on your pattern of comments in this thread, I don’t think you get it. Did you not read the post? He’s saying the iPhone is a part of it, adding it would stop some of the bleeding, absolutely wouldn’t stop all of it and nobody has argued that. What it would do is stop at least some, likely a large percentage of customers from leaving. They may not flock the company from elsewhere, but at least they won’t leave.

        • Ordeith

          But at what cost? We don’t want T-Mobile to end up like Sprint. Is the “some” of the customers, that percentage of the 14% of cell phone users, worth it?
          I think there are other things T-Mobile could do that would be more effective. Fix them, then take another look at what Apple is offering.

        • http://tmonews.com David

          Again, I’m not disagreeing with you nor advocating that the iPhone is a cure all, nor am I saying that the iPhone is a magic wand. I’m simply stating the iPhone is clearly a gaping hole in the company’s portfolio and the perception that they don’t carry it hurts as well. I don’t care if they get it and sell 5 of them or 5 million, having it on the shelf is what’s important. No, not at any cost, but they need it to say that they have it.

  • BigMixxx

    ….conduct a simple experiment.

    Go and ask a person…any layperson and simply say when you make a video call on a phone what is it called. The typical response is ‘Facetime’. The lines are blurred so bad in technology, a video call = facetime, using the term ‘droids to describe any android phone, Android is ‘just like’ iPhone but better. And ‘iPhone killer’ = Galaxy S III ( <– this one might be true)

    T mobile knows what will stop churn, the iPhone. The phone markets itself. However it devalues some of t mobile's more churn reducing efforts like the 'value plan' as Apple dictates the costs of the phone.

    He recognizes ALL of that, and it sounds as if they will be biting some of the bullet, if enough markets are re-farmed fast enough….

  • http://robert.aitchison.org raitchison

    Apple isn’t going to sell the iPhone to TMO for ~$350 and they can’t afford to buy them for $500.

  • Carolina Media Sales

    Those hating on the iPhone need to think from a logical business perspective. T-Mobile DOES need the device to stop churn. It sells itself and is still the best selling smartphone and brand on the planet. But at the same time I agree they do not need to sign a similar deal to Sprint that would put them in the red for a couple of years.

    Once the network refarm is completed I believe Apple will be more willing to make a reasonable deal with T-Mobile to carry the device since it will no longer require them to build a separate model just for T-Mobile. If not then T-Mobile will be able to convince more unlocked iPhone users to come over to their network for the low rates with fast HSPA+ speeds. Either way T-Mobile will come out on top in this situation.

    • Ordeith

      They need LTE to stop churn.
      They need better network coverage to stop churn.
      They need to get their once great customer service back to stop churn.
      the iPhone alone will not save them.

  • Aurizen

    looks like we wont see an iphone in 2013. unless apples offer them a lower price.

  • John Thomas

    I’m still lost as to how smaller carriers like Cricket, Virgin, and all the other small unknown carriers can afford the iPhone but T-Mobile can’t? Does is Apple doing business or what isn’t T-Mobile doing cause cost shouldn’t be an issue. Maybe that 15 billion went to bringing the iPhone to cricket and virgin as well since they are all under sprint.

    • 21stNow

      Cricket is not under Sprint. Cricket is an MNO that roams on Sprint’s towers. Maybe you’re thinking of Boost Mobile.

      The other carriers that you mentioned don’t subsidize the iPhone and can use the same model that VZW and Sprint use. Apple would still have to build a separate model for T-Mobile because the refarming isn’t complete yet.

  • eas7932

    I have an iPhone and would seriously never go back to android. Even with just Edge speeds for the past year. I think a lot of people commenting saying its not worth it to get the iPhone because of the other great devices T-Mobile has just don’t understand what it’s like to have an iPhone. It really is the best in my opinion, and I’ve had a LOT of phones. And nothing would please me more than to be able to buy a new iPhone with my upgrade. Which I have now and won’t be using :/
    Apple and T-mobile, let’s make a deal!

    • thepanttherlady

      I had the original iPhone when it first came out AND used it with T-Mobile’s service. ;)

      Some of us do understand what it’s like to have an iPhone and know we don’t care for it. I prefer the “freedom” I have with my androids and love, love, LOVE them.

      With that being said, while I personally will never buy an iPhone (or Apple product for that matter), I do believe the customer should be given a choice. I think T-Mobile is putting themselves at a disadvantage by not carrying the iPhone but don’t think the bleeding will stop with it’s arrival. They need to seriously clean house as well.

    • Spanky

      I’ve had my share of iDevices and “know what it’s like to have” one (by the way, you sound like you’ve been indoctrinated into a cult). I would quicker get a Windows phone than an iPhone….but, that’s just me.

    • Jose M Gonzalez

      it’s honestly not about who loves what device….we all use what works for us and that’s that. i agree with @thepanttherlady:disqus the iphone won’t fix t-mobile it’ll just be a band-aid over the problem. t-mobile needs to stop lying about their short comings. meaning poor customer service, mistakes they make in billing, crappy devices they won’t fix, etc. they should focus on the ppl they have and keep them happy. then those ppl will bring in more ppl. hell i used to love sprint when they paid my bill for nearly an entire year from all the referrals i gave them. again t-mobile should reward their loyal customers and keep us happy.

  • Winski

    Then, they are going to stay a minor player OR a non-player until they do… IF, Jim Alling’s word is the final word then 1) T-Mumble will just bump along being a money pit for their parent until they close it down, OR 2) they get bought up by APPELLATION CELLULAR COVERING 3-EASTERN KENTUCKY COUNTIES, OR 3) they FIRE Alling and find a COO that will figure out HOW they can get it…

    You pick.

  • achusaysblessyou

    They might get the iphone 5, Cook seems more rational and stable than Jobs… genius, but a nut case for sure.

  • Sanjay

    In the beginning the iPhone was way ahead of the competition. There are so many good alternatives now. I just got my Lumia 810 and love it. Microsoft has done a great job with the new windows OS (phone 7 and now phone 8 even better). I even picked up a Lumia 710 on Groupon as a backup (thanks for highlighting deal David). I work around people with iPhones that won’t switch mostly because they can’t believe there are excellent alternatives now. With my unlimited everthing plan on T-mobile I am all set. A person just showed me a picture she took on her new iPhone 4s and it was so small and not very clear. I just don’t get the fascination with the iPhone anymore. People that started with it just don’t like to change. T-mobile, forget the iPhone. Focus on executing your plan and don’t always lose out on the better phones (i.e. Lumia 920 versus 810). My fiance will be switching to T-mobile soon due to poor reception at her house (imaging that). Almost 10 years with T-mobile and counting…

    • thepanttherlady

      Windows is another phone I’ve used in the past and won’t go back to. But I can’t imagine saying I want T-Mobile to sell ONLY android phones because that’s all I will use.

      I think the idea here is that it would be great if T-Mobile truly offered something for everyone, yes, including the iPhone.

  • http://www.facebook.com/unfazedrebel Jé Be (Here but Gone)

    T-Mobile doesn’t need to officially carry the cult phone for followers. Those with any sense know it works on their network and 4G is improving. Look at the nexus 4 why not direct customers to Google and just make profit on the service plan. Why subsidize a device that can be had off contract abs still work in the network? I don’t hate the iphone I just hate how so many people SWEAR by it

    • Whitney

      According to T-mobile people they do

    • Impending Doo

      people dont necessarily SWEAR by it. most people flock to a device thats easy to use and is functional for their needs. i took my mom to a tmobile store to get her the new galaxy s3. and even though she said oh such a nice phone, she said she’d rather stick with her radar 4g because it’s easy for her. on the way back, however, we stopped by an att store just to check out the iphone and she beamed a smile at me phone in hand.

      id never switch to att but i can see the appeal for the phone. it is surprisingly stable and easy to use. i waste so much time adding/removing widgets and changing wallpaper on my gnex. and then i worry about battery. i still love my phone but i knw it could be better.

      when i go home, i grab the ipad and then forget about my phone until the next morning.

  • GS3

    Well it is what it is.. Of course they know how the iphone is the cause of churns because people tell tmobile about it when they cancel their contracts.. The iphone is popular that’s why people want it and not because it’s better or the best..especially among kids, they all want it.. But for me,i would leave tmobile because of their poor coverage.. Hmmm

  • thatguy

    A retail store manager in Kansas City was recently given an iPhone to “test” on the network here. Of course she prefers her Android.

  • AndTheWorldMayNeverKnow

    You have to pay more but you can get one unlocked off contract. at least the option is there,pretty much any phone that’s out (including ones not released here, but ones that are compatible with the various US networks) can be purchased and used without ever getting into a contract. most people just don’t want to pay the higher price and have no insurance but if you have some extra coin it might be better to start buying unlocked phones.

    Tmo has had some of the worst phones the past 3 years compared to the big 3 in the states. Tmo just now starting to get good phones but you could always use pretty much any phone you wanted on the network, especially GSM networks because of sim cards. I had a neighbor who used to go back and forth between the HD7 and the iPhone all the time. That’s why I never bought the Nexus One, they wanted $600 off contract with $200 on but you had to have a contract renewal and I didn’t so I waited.

    If you really, really, REALLY want an iPhone that bad you can go buy one straight up or change carriers. It’s up to each individual to decide what phone they like but there are ways around this and other phones being absent from the “store” lineup. Let Newegg and Fry’s be your friends if you have the extra coin to shell out and want real options

  • AndTheWorldMayNeverKnow

    pick a good network for the area you live in and your travel or financial needs and save up and get a good phone. I plan on staying out of contracts after buying the GS3 if I can help it, unless the phone I really want or one comparable is on the carrier I chose

  • http://www.twitter.com/the_sundaypaper Sebastiaan van den Berg

    T-Mobile’s failure is not because of the devices they carry but because of the coverage they claim they have. When someone goes around claiming NATIONWIDE 4G I expect a lot of 4G coverage. I just recently got EDGE and 4G is towards bigger towns in the area while AT&T, Sprint & Verizon all have 3G/4G and even LTE in my same small town. T-Mobile? EDGE which I recently just got in April after running GPRS for years..

    • M42

      Well said. Management just isn’t getting the message. Customers want and expect the “large” 4G network they advertise. It wasn’t too long ago they were advertising they had the largest 4G network, which was totally untrue. What they have is the largest Edge network, which nobody wants.

      • http://www.twitter.com/the_sundaypaper Sebastiaan van den Berg

        Exactly, I can understand their focus partly on big cities but we are people to no matter how small our towns are. Majority of us here walk around with 4G devices especially now cause almost all devices are 4G (3g too)… We need the service we pay for… We all got this 4G data plan we are stuck with but if we rarely go to 4G areas it’s a waste out of our own pockets…

  • Turb0wed

    T-Mobile’s real problem is they shit coverage. Then the marketing.

  • http://twitter.com/purenupe1 Taharvey Davis

    Keys to T-mobile success……1.Bring back good customer service, 2.Bring back the traditional subsidy, 3.If your gonna throttle, do it down to 3G, 4.Offer more than just Android phones

  • gobigstayscrappy

    Not just no iPhone ….T-mobile will be Samsung exclusive .pretty soon. One HTC android .. one LG android . The nexus4 Isn’t in all markers so I’m not counting it.

    I work for T-Mobile its starting to really really suck …

  • M42

    The iPhone platform is vastly outdated and is behind Android. It’s just a fad that will soon pass. T-Mobile should stay the course and stop turning flips trying to get the iPhone. They’re already wasting billions to refarm just so they can get old iPhones switched to their network. Those billions would better served in upgrading their mostly Edge network to 4G. Otherwise they’re going to continue to suffer from large numbers of customers jumping ship when their contract expires. I know I’ll be in that boat when my time comes. I’m sick of being on Edge.

  • steffanut

    I work in customer care. I talk to people every day, the Iphone isn’t really THAT big of a deal. Customer service, network, and pricing for handsets are the real areas of opportunity here. There was a rough couple of years here, with the AT and T fiasco, and just plain bad leadership. Our new COO is making smart choices and getting the company back on track. This takes time and isn’t going to be done overnight. You really want to make difference, make sure you are letting people know about the things Tmo does have to offer, instead of getting online and adding to the problem. Tmo is a great company and we are getting back to our roots. Cut everyone some slack here. Be part of the solution. I am proud to work for a company that is one of the most ethical in the world, that cares about the employees and the customers. I live in a state where we don’t get ANY 4G and are unlikely to get LTE, I would still stand by the company I work for and I will support the new leadership. Most people don’t go online and give kudos, of course all we see are opportunities instead of successes. Iphone or no Iphone. We need to get to our roots and the product will sell itself with great pricing and options!

    • Mark

      Stephanie, I took the liberty of reading your profile and my dad’s family is from the town where you work (he lives there, in fact). Any word of HSPA+ coming to the southern part of the state (I’m in Portland)?

  • http://twitter.com/fightcrazy Vinny

    I agree with him, don’t sign your life away to Apple. Sprint has ruined their 3G Network and many customers who went to Sprint for the I-Phone are leaving in hoards. If they don’t get their LTE rolled out real fast they are doomed to extinction. T-Mobile does not have that problem, they have the fastest HSPA+ Network that gets larger and faster daily, they can wait for their LTE till next year as planned, along with their 1900 radio addition the I-Phone customers will come and have a great experience on a very fast Network. The bottom line is cost and experience, T-Mobile will have the best of both worlds. I have T-Mobile and Verizon as my Carriers, my choice if I had to choose is T-Mobile, I grabbed Verizon while they were offering unlimited data for 30 bucks, still have it but now T-Mobile offers the same plan I will be dropping Verizon. Thanks T-Mobile, always getting better.

  • MuthaFuckinStephen

    I’ll take cheap bill over an iPhone any day.

  • MuthaFuckinStephen

    Oh and if I wanna see a girl on a bike. I’d Google that. T-Mobile gotta hand Carly the pink slip.

  • macman37

    It’s time for them to tap the parent’s, “Deutsche Telekom”, fortune for some more financial help on this matter. One of the main reasons why Sprint is suffering so much these days is because they don’t have parent company to ask for help. I know this because my former roommate and I used to have Sprint’s landline service, which is no longer existent. T-Mobile should also really take a close look at a few years back when Verizon didn’t have the iPhone. Despite the many alternatives, they still had a churn rate that concerned their present and future situation at that time. T-Mobile should ask Deutsche Telekom to help pony up the money they need so that they, unlike Sprint, can have enough funds to offer the Asurion insurance with the iPhone. I do believe that if Deutsche Telekom wants T-Mobile to thrive in the US that they will offer more financial help to help T-Mobile avoid the mess that Sprint is still recovering from.

  • macman37

    If Deutsche Telekom cares anything about T-Mobile USA’s profits, they would help them become an official carrier and either give T-Mobile the money or offer to pay for the deal themselves; so that way T-Mobile doesn’t end up like Sprint offering the iPhone but with no ability to offer Asurion insurance due to their promise of having to sell a huge portion of their iPhone units. One main reason why that Sprint is in that predicament is because they no longer had any financial backing when they inked their deal – my former roommate and I know this due to us having their former, no longer existent landline. Hopefully with the Softbank transaction, that will change this scenario for Sprint. Deutsche Telekom has to care more about their USA presence and help out. Prior to Verizon Wireless landing their deal with Apple, they had to settle for selling Android and other alternatives; and with their current churn rate at that time – people leaving for the iPhone – they what would happen to them in the future if they didn’t become an official iPhone carrier. Both T-Mobile and Deutsche Telekom should take note of this story; and T-Mobile should be brave enough to ask their parent, Deutsche Telekom, for more funds so they don’t end in Sprint’s current predicament.

  • abolds4397

    The only value of T-Mobile getting the iPhone is it will be another option for those who want it. It doesn’t mean all of a sudden things will be rosey and the world will glow. It is just an option. All carriers are losing people daily for one reason or another…even with the iPhone. I agree with everyone who states advertising is key and T-Mobile does lack in that area. I just think they want the iPhone option to catch a few and I’m sure that will happen if they get it. With a combination of good advertising (plans, phones, etc.) and the arrival of the iPhone (again to catch those few who want it), maybe they will stop some bleeding (in other words place a band aid on the wound). No one can stop everyone from leaving any company for one reason or another and that is the reality. They just need to take their time and not rush in to anything with Apple that will hurt the company and work on some positive advertising to help showcase T-Mobile’s phones, plans, etc. Can they survive without the iPhone? YES they can without a doubt but they must do some things better! We’ll see as time goes on as to what happens in T-Mobile’s future!

  • sam

    Yall are delusional if you think T-mobile is fine without the iPhone.