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Analysts are well-known for their attempts to guesstimate just how much x will sell on y. Which makes predictions of iPhone sales on T-Mobile likely to start coming out of the woodwork in droves. One of the first analysts to take a look at the possible sales volume on T-Mobile is Horace Dediu of Asymco. I give Deidu more credit than most analysts who appear to do nothing more than choose sales numbers with a dartboard. Dediu’s arguments are generally well thought out and supported with facts and figures.
That said, it’s all a guess at this point until we can get a better idea of T-Mobile’s credit requirements and understanding of how customers are reacting to the company’s new UNcarrier/Simple Choice rate plans. Dediu’s sales numbers are based on sales patterns of T-Mobile’s competition and the percentage of the total subscribers activating the iPhone per quarter. Sales patterns seem pretty consistent across all three national carriers leading Dediu to surmise that T-Mobile will sell 3.4 million iPhone’s in 2013.
That’s a big number and would likely make the iPhone the runaway hit of 2013 on the new UNcarrier, but there are plenty of wild cards we can throw out that could impact any possible iPhone sales numbers, or for that matter the HTC One and Galaxy S 4. First and foremost is the basic understanding of the new rate plans and while the appeal of the $99 down payment price will bring customers in, will they find the “value” in monthly payments.
Will T-Mobile’s transparent pricing model appeal to new customers as well as existing customers and what impact could a lack of understanding have on iPhone 5 sales? We’ve already seen a a clear demand for the iPhone on T-Mobile with more than 2 million customers using unlocked devices, and that’s a big figure for a device not officially supported by the carrier. So there’s some precedent in place to believe that the iPhone will be highly successful on T-Mobile.
Another key fact playing into total iPhone sales in 2013 is that T-Mobile will begin selling all three iPhones at once, with the iPhone 5 going national, and the 4S/4 in “select areas” where refarmed coverage exists or is planned. The bottom line is that there are plenty of variables at work when trying to calculate how many iPhone (or One/Galaxy S 4) sales will T-Mobile see in 2013, Dediu makes one of the more convincing arguments. Regardless of actual sales numbers, it seems like a foregone conclusion that the iPhone will be a runaway hit on T-Mobile, but to what extent is something we won’t know for some time. .