T-Mobile’s Increased Ad Spending, Addition Of iPhone Hasn’t Led To Increased Market Share…Yet

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While Kantar Worldpanel announced yesterday that the addition of the iPhone 5 to T-Mobile’s network has bumped up Apple’s total market share, the same can’t be said for T-Mobile directly. According to their findings, T-Mobile’s share of the wireless space was 10.1 percent in the last three months against 13.5 percent over the same period last year.

However, all is not lost as T-Mobile’s strength with the addition of the iPhone 5 appears to be customers who are first-time smartphone buyers. Kantar estimates that 53 percent of all the company’s iPhone buyers were feature-phone owners prior.

Taking the information from Kantar, AdAge is reporting that T-Mobile’s ad spending increased 39.5 percent in 2012. T-Mobile’s hopes that its unlimited data offering would attract AT&T and Verizon customers has yet to pan out. In fact, both AT&T and Verizon decreased their ad spending and saw their respective market shares remain steady.

When considering ad spending against market share in 2012, T-Mobile spent 636 million in 2011 with 12.7 percent market share against 11.6 percent in 2012 and 887 million in ad spending. Now, even as the company spends more, their market share has decreased.

With a new CEO at the helm in John Legere and his aggressive advertising against AT&T, T-Mobile is widely expected to show its first signs of real growth later this year. T-Mobile will likely continue to tout its unlimited offerings and take shots at AT&T while Sprint will focus on its own set of unlimited plans but target the competition at large.

For the moment, with AT&T and Verizon can tout their own high-speed LTE networks there’s pressure on T-Mobile which is late with their LTE rollout. That issue is noted by IDC analyst Carrie MacGillivray who says marketing messages in the coming years will focus on network speed and not data or pricing. Given that, T-Mobile will need to work on rolling out enough LTE markets to offer a wide enough blanket of coverage to begin marketing their LTE network in a big way. I’m hopeful that’s one of the messages we’ll see at tomorrows “boldest moves ever event.”

NYTimes; AdAge via Fierce Wireless

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  • mueller2051

    Maybe T-Mobile also needs to start focusing on customer service. Been with T-Mobile over 5 years. There new customer service sucks ! In store been fine , not so much when you call 611 for service

    • thepanttherlady

      For me, it’s actually gotten better. The last couple of times I’ve called I’ve reached reps in the states.

      A rep changed us from the Value plan to the Simple Choice plan despite stating the change they were making (not at our request) wouldn’t affect our actual plan. Got the bill and of course what I thought would happen, did. I gave them the option of putting us back on the plan we had or issuing a credit for the price difference between this bill and the one in February. The rep I spoke with was very helpful and professional and got us back on the plan we had without a single hassle.

      • mueller2051

        My problem was similar. But had to call 4 different times to finally found someone who I guess was from the states to get it resolved. One was a manger who insisted I never had my old plan. Very frustrating

    • Alvin Brinson

      Every time someone complains about customer service with T-Mobile, I have to wonder: Have you ever actually used the customer service on OTHER carriers with the same frequency? While T-Mobile’s service did decline during the Dark AT&T Days, it was once at the top of the industry above all the other carriers. It isn’t shabby now. Not to say it is awesome either, but you have to compare it with the competition, not as a standalone experience.

      • mueller2051

        First off I not comparing at@t to T-Mobile. Second yes i have been with at@t and Verizon granted that was 7 years a go. Third during the at @t days service was still great. It when they went to out sourcing after unicarrer launch it changed. And fourth I mention it because the were amazing in the past from number one in there field to one of the most hated company’s in America. It a field T-Mobile needs to regain

        • mikkej2k

          @ = at
          + , & = and

        • Andrew

          thank you for saying something.. it needed to be said..

      • kalel33

        Actually, I worked for T-mobile customer service until last summer and was with Verizon for over 8 months. There is a world of difference in what Verizon does for it’s customers with customer service.

        On T-mobile we were required an average of 365 seconds per call, with Verizon that number is under 510 seconds per call. That makes a huge difference on how you can interact with the customer on one side and with T-mobile, just pushing them off the phone as fast as you can. Also, you want to remove a feature or drop the price plan? No problem with Verizon but on T-mobile it goes against your stats. Lastly, myVOC(customer reviews) was one of the last things that affected your overall stats with T-mobile, with call times and changes in MRC(monthly recurring charges) being the most valuable. It’s about saving the company every penny. With Verizon, the surveys by customers is the number one stat that you have and is the one the team leads worry about the most, how the feels about Verizon and did we resolve their issue.

        T-mobile customer service is business oriented and Verizon was more customer oriented. I was at T-mobile when they were winning 12 out of the 14 JD Power and Associates awards and they will never go back to what made them number one in customer service, because it’s not profitable.

        • Andrew

          while it is kind of a bummer to hear that about t-mobile, i will say their customer service has been around the same as at&t for me so far.
          i can’t speak for verison as they would like to charge twice as much for their service as tmo currently is, at which point they damn well better have excellent customer service!

        • mueller2051

          Don’t get me wrong. I love my T-Mobile there phone quality been great in west phoenix and I love being able to switch Sims with my other phones. Beside that with at@t I dropped more calls then tom cruse dose women. And Verizon over billed me evry month like a loan from a gangster. And sprint is still promising for 8 Years to get 4g .So I’m not bitching im suggesting

        • Andrew

          hah, that’s fair.. those are all major things with all the carriers.. i work and deal with all different carriers every day and tmo usually gets hit for coverage more often than everyone else and that has been an issue with me personally on occasion.
          and at&t dropped calls like crazy when i was with them.
          verison is just crazy expensive with comparible features next to all other carriers.
          sprint is.. bleh.. they’ll be good eventually, but when that will be remains to be seen.. but i’ll also see a price increase and data caps coming shortly after too so..

        • Alvin Brinson

          I worked for T-Mobile Tier II PDA Support for nearly 2 years back in 2008-2009. In tech support, we were never worried about sales numbers or plans – we focused on resolving the customer’s issue. When you tell me you worked for T-Mobile “last summer” I know that you may be right in what you are saying – for last summer. I am talking about BEFORE the AT&T merger debacle. Basically once the merger was on the books, T-Mobile began to shut down most of their support centers and thus put a lot more pressure on agents than was there previously.

        • kalel33

          I was there during that time too and the customer service was awesome during that time and you’re wrong that it was the AT&T merger that caused the change. The change was done in 2010 when they got rid of Sue Nokes and changed CEOs to the German puppet. Everything went downhill from there. It was over half a year later that the AT&T merger was agreed upon. Most of the changes that were anti-consumer were due to them wanting to make as much money as possible.

  • VG

    Didn’t the iPhone 5 and Metro PCS merger happen in 2013 for T-Mobile? Not sure how 2012 vs. 2011 comps are relevant to the current company.

  • Alvin Brinson

    As others are pointing out, the iPhone wasn’t even a 2012 issue for T-Mobile. Nor had the new uncarrier plans been launched yet at that point. 2012 was still the detritus from the AT&T debacle. 2013 is the numbers we are looking for.

    • Nick Gonzalez

      Good call.

  • scuttlefield

    I’m glad T-Mo is finally rolling out LTE, and I’m happy to have it, but honestly HSPA+ is more than good enough for most things. The biggest problem that I have is 3G/HSPA+ coverage. There’s even some places in and around the city (Portland, OR) that drops to EDGE and when you get away from the city, even to the Oregon coast, the 3G coverage is pretty poor. I hope to this get better soon.

    • Noah James

      HSPA was good enough until they started LTE rollout in my area. HSPA has really took a big hit in speed. Am I alone?

      • just me

        Just out of curiosity, when you say “big hit,” do you mean you actually noticed the decrease without using a speed test app, or do you mean you went from 20mbps to 13mbps and are just annoyed about the number? If it’s the latter, you might be happier just using your service without constantly needing to know the number. Once you’re above about 4 or 5 mbps, there are very few scenarios where difference in speed matters.

        • Jason Crumbley

          It’s a noticeable difference. Web pages load slower, and apps download slower.

        • Noah James

          Yeah, most of the time I go on WiFi because it won’t even load yet I have 3 bars of hspa. The last speed test I did was .83 down .3 up used to get 4 down .85 up

        • Noah James

          Yeah I can’t load a webpage unless I sit and wait & wait..

        • Frettfreak

          Yeah.. they arent even deploying LTE in my area and i have to do that ALL the time (speed test gives me MAX 2mb down but average is about 1.3mb) :(

        • Noah James

          I don’t know you could call them tell them your data really slow and ask to do a ( service request.)

    • http://twitter.com/SParKlngCyaNide SparklingCyanide

      Absolutely this! Although my coverage in my area is phenomenal, I know not everybody has the same experience as I do and I believe you have the right idea and want EVERYBODY to have the same terrific experience as us.

      • scuttlefield

        Exactly!

  • rfgenerator

    It’s the network, they can’t expect to be making any major headway if they don’t fix their data coverage. Most folks expect to be able to have decent data coverage in the Suburbs and along major interstates. Even in heavily populated states like Massachusetts and CT vast areas along the Interstates are EDGE/GPRS. No I don’t expect perfection and know there will always be problem areas, but currently one can drive vast parts of the Massachusetts Turnpike and have only 2G coverage. Matter of fact, they have a complete dead zone at the rest stops that are just 5 or so miles outside of Boston. I’ve been with T-Mobile since 2005 and at this point it’s not a matter of if, it’s just a matter of when that I will be jumping ship to ATT. Might come back in a couple years if T-Mobile fixes the network, but I see absolutely nothing coming from the powers to be that indicate they are planning to do any upgrades to their network outside of urban areas.

    • Richard

      i agree they need to fix there coverage ,take a roadtrip from los angeles to vegas tmobile is edge/gprs go to sanFrancisco same thing. My friend got an iphone 5 on atts new go phone that allows full use of Lte and she got the 60 dollar plan with 2 gigs and she paying 30 dollars more for 3 more gigs which makes it 90 a month for unlimited mins,texts,5 gigs of data and a better nationwide network supposedly att go phone network dnt use all of atts network but it works much better than what tmobile has right now she had lte all the way on those 2 trips. When she hadtmobile she paid 98 for 1 phone but she had unlimited data ,right now she said she happy with att paying 8 bucks less a month and a better network like she said 5 gigs is a lot she berly use 4 with heavy usage.

    • Noah James

      I know the network does need to be fixed. But in heavily populated areas it should not be a problem have you told T-Mobile about it? Call 611 do a service request for the area.

      • rfgenerator

        Cmon, T-Mobile I’m sure is aware that they have dozens if not hundreds of miles with GPRS/EDGE, actually their coverage map does reflect this. The point is while this was acceptable to me when I was primarily a voice customer in 2006, I’m (and I suspect many others) in 2013 primarily a data based customer. Having a geographically 75% 2G network doesn’t cut it.

        • Noah James

          Yes, but if people don’t complain about the area to T-Mobile they will think … Ah it’s not a problem because no one is using the network/ not get complaints. Some people only have feature phone, it wouldn’t be a problem if only those people were using the network for calls.

      • Frettfreak

        Yeah.. i did call them (and i live in an area with just under 1 million people so its not that small)

        They said (and this IS a quote) “thats one of the areas we would like to improve”

        WTF?!?!

        • Noah James

          Okay… Wow you need to ask for a service request when you call. I can’t believe that they said that. Lol

        • Frettfreak

          Ask them for a service request? Just say I am asking for a service request?

          Yeah. I couldn’t believe they said it either. I was like what? Lol

        • Noah James

          okay maybe that was poor wording. Do a service request just say I would like to do a service request for… Area. They should know what you mean and fill out one.

    • maximus1901

      ATT’s AIO wireless.
      Only downside is your LTE speeds are capped at 8mbps.

      • Richard

        oh dam.i didnt kno aio wireless capped there lte at 8 mbps,i was thinking of gettin them i guess ill be doing what my friend did and getting att go phone att go phone allows full use of lte she has shown me that she gets up to 25 mbps dwn and 15 up.

        • maximus1901

          What does ATT Go do after you use data allotment?

        • Richard

          They DONT do nothing data just stops working its not like att contract were they slow down your data and they charge you alot on go phone it JUST stops working and you can buy another gig for 10 bucks . IM gonna do what my friend is doing and pay 90 a month for 5 gigs besides i never really use more than 5 gigs a month and i do plentyof facebook,check email ,get driving directions and still manage to use around 4.1-4.2 gigs a month.

        • Lagurl

          @maximus like richard said att go phone doesnt overcharge you or throtthles your data once you use the gigs u paid for they do that to there contract customers not go phone customers . I think its a pretty good deal im also looking into it I mean lets face it att go phone take advantage of atts network which is way bigger than tmobiles network and now have acess to full hspa and lte so pretty good .

    • Frettfreak

      PREACH!!!!!

  • KingCobra

    Might have something to do with the fact that T-Mobile’s ads are terrible. They need a new marketing team for their commercials. Most of them fail to get the point across or highlight advantages T-Mobile has over other carriers.

    • Metro PCS

      I agree completely, they increase their ad spending by 40% and got a reduced 1% market share, what they are doing does not work. The ads are down right terrible just like AT&Ts, they do nothing to explain what the advantages of T-Mobile are.

  • Trevnerdio

    They’re slowly improving their ads…now get them on TV!

  • maximus1901

    Expand the 3G/4g network. Simple. Too bad they won’t. There’s a conference call, archived at seeking alpha, wherein TMO stated they’re only expanding LTE to current 3G/4g towers. I know this doesn’t say anything about expanding 3G but come on.

    • TechHog

      They don’t have the spectrum. :/

    • Frettfreak

      I couldn’t agree more. just because i have coverage in my area doesnt make it good coverage (although their coverage map and sales associates will tell you otherwise). All i want is some of the HSPA+ stuff they are replacing with LTE elsewhere.. that too much to ask?!?!? GEEZ!!

      Honestly, if i didnt absolutely despise Verizon as a company, i would go there. They even have LTE here! but i hate them almost as much as i hate apple as a company.

  • just me

    Hey David! You gonna be getting a liveblog of the event going? Thanks for continuing to be the best place for T-Mobile news :)

    • http://tmonews.com David

      No, no live blog! I’m sending someone in my place and he won’t be set up to live blog! There’s no livestream this time either so just straight reporting!

      • maximus1901

        I don’t think TMUS will exist in 3 years. Once Softbank deploys TD-LTE in urbania, Sprint will be able to attack with Boost and Virgin mobile, which is TMUS’ core constituency.

        • mueller2051

          Really. That as likely as dumb and dumber becoming president and vice president

        • TechHog

          lol

    • mueller2051

      I hope they bring up Sony new phone and I hope it released. Went on T-Mobile website from “coming soon” to “notify me ” some time back. hmmmmmm

  • tomarone

    T-Mobile is certainly the most exciting company. Hold on tight for a wild ride, the next year or 2.

  • steveb944

    Marketing team sucks. Remember these years noted are the Carly years, you didn’t know what they were trying to market in those ads.

    Also 10% sounds horrible.

  • stevejobbed

    In the past the disparity was much larger but T-Mobile is still being outspent by a large margain when it comes to advertising.

    Advertising budgets for 2012:

    T-Mobile- 1.2 Billion

    Sprint-1.4 Billion

    Att- 2.36 Billion

    Verizon- 2.52 Billion

    In my opinion too many people on this site over estimate how effective T-Mobile is getting its message out there. Understandable as its a magenta focused blog but the reality is they are still be drowned out by their competition. The fact is the majority of US consumers have no idea about T-Mobile’s new strategy. Even their own customers are largely unaware of it until they want to upgrade. T-Mobile wants to compete with the big boys but does not have the capitol to do so. Now with the Softbank/Sprint deal being official they are even further behind the curve resource wise.

    • S. Ali

      T-mobile website needs a price comparison calculator. They should also be aggressive in getting people to see how much they can save on their network. Their stores have hugs problems. The one near me doesn’t even have working phones in their store.

      • thepanttherlady

        Non working models prevents theft. If you want to see/try a working model you only need to ask.

        • Jesse James

          i always ask to see working phones side by side. If I’m going to pick between the One and Galaxy I want to see them side by side. Amazingly i get refused more often than I should. That always causes me to go somewhere else

        • thepanttherlady

          I absolutely agree. I wouldn’t buy a phone I couldn’t check out first. Do you think you were denied access because they didn’t have one locked up? I just don’t understand why they would refuse you.

        • Jesse James

          I would assume they didn’t want to take a phone out of the box and turn it on knowing I’m not going to buy at least one of them. I’m speculating on the reason but even if there is a better reason and a great reason my thing is ….. you want me to drop $500-700 without a comparison?

          I do think it depends on the store. Thats why I use the one I do now even if it is a little more distance they are willing to do things like that for me that.

    • Frettfreak

      You know… i like tmobile as a company, and that why i stay. That and its a pretty great price, HOWEVER, savings aside, they fn lie like crazy with their coverage maps. I live in a fairly large metro area (close to a million people) and although the coverage map says i am in a “4g” area, i can barely use my data half the time… the other half i can barely squeak out 2mb down. before they go on a crazy marketing push and get a ton of customers only to piss them off… maybe they need to strengthen areas like this (and i know i am not the only one)

  • http://about.me/daylondeon Deacon

    all i can say is the LTE in Dallas is superb. i’ve been telling people based on my own comparisons versus LTE with ATT and Sprint that TMO is much better . i’ve compared with my friends’ phones and my LTE blows them away.

  • Wererat

    Hmm. This reporting period ended December, 2012. That means none of T-Mobile’s pricing/contract changes are reflected in these numbers.
    All we can derive is that the iPhone’s arrival, *by itself*, didn’t cause growth in T-Mo’s marketshare. It’ll really be interesting to see the change for the quarter ending June, 2013.

  • Frettfreak

    Anyone that thought they would get more market share just because of a phone that everyone else had and isnt that big a deal anymore is kinda crazy. I fn hate apple, but i can agree that the iphone does have its stregnths, but its not this crazy device that everyone is trying to get anymore. Maybe if they would have brought it on when the iphone 4 hit, then yeah, but tmo has some bad ass phones right now and i wouldnt even put the iphone in the bad ass category. I bet they are getting a lot of older people buying them though. they are perfect for the aging crowd!! ;)