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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