Research Group Says 400,000 Customers Stayed With T-Mobile Thanks To The iPhone


As we look forward to T-Mobile’s first financial report as a joint entity with MetroPCS, a new report highlights just how much of an impact the arrival of the iPhone has had on the carrier.

According to Consumer Intelligence Research Partners LLC., the addition of the iPhone to T-Mobile’s lineup may have prevented between 300,000 and 400,000 customers from leaving. They estimate this number based on a survey of phone activations that occurred between April and June of this year, about 75 of which were T-Mobile. How they arrived at the 300,000 – 400,000 number is something I’ve yet to figure, but I wouldn’t doubt that the iPhone’s arrival prevented a good number of customers from defecting to the competition.

Prior to the iPhone’s official launch on the network, more than 2 million customers were using unlocked iPhone devices showing a clear interest in the device and T-Mobile’s network.

If the iPhone is helping T-Mobile keep customers, it could mean fewer subscribers for the competition. AT&T mentioned T-Mobile’s iPhone as a new source of competition when it added just 551,000 net subscribers in the second quarter, a view analysts also believe affected Verizon’s numbers in the second quarter as well.

In just three days we’ll find out exactly what kind of impact the iPhone had on T-Mobile’s quarterly earnings.

Wall Street Journal



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  • Binny Gupta

    Tmobile now focus on the coverage in non main cities. But its great for me because nyc is full of coverage.

  • Tina

    Unfortunately lack of a signal in my office is the reason I am leaving again. Back to Verizon as of tonight. Plus the multitudes of texts that I don’t receive and missed calls while I had a signal is unforgivable. I really hoped t-mobile would have improved from when I left a year ago, because I so love my HTC One. Oh well, maybe next year.

    • bisayan

      good luck to you and your high monthly payment verizon..sorry if everything didnt work out with you..but sooner or later Tmobile will eliminate the edge (2g). I never looked back..

      • Verizonthunder

        I am still waiting for T-Mobile to upgrade their edge tower’s to LTE, with Verizon because of coverage and Unlimited data and mobile hotspot

    • carcomptoy

      Assuming your office is normal and has Wi-Fi, why don’t you use Wi-Fi Calling?

      • jehrler

        Unfortunately, if you have an iPhone, this is *still* not available.

        • Paul

          They said they have the HTC One.

        • kalel33

          They stated “if” you have an Iphone.

        • RedGeminiPA

          T-Mobile corporate told me they’re working on it.

          It has nothing to do with Apple not allowing it, and everything to do with T-Mobile not being on the ball to develop the app.

      • Ulysses Geist

        WiFi Calling is not a panacea. My experience is that about 50% of my wifi calls never ring for me or the caller and go straight to voice mail. Thankfully I get the voice mail notification, but that level of failure is of great concern and essentially renders any benefit from wifi calling useless.

        • Paul

          That could be your wifi network. I used my wifi calling at my last job, no signal. Got all messages and calls.

        • Ulysses Geist

          Thanks for the reply, Paul. I considered that. I checked repeatedly and changed router settings. I implemented a static IP for the phone, I even changed the router. I researched this a bit on the net, and found that the Galaxy SII had this problem, same as my L9. Some people posting felt it was related to Comcast. One common variable, it would seem, was the Jelly Bean update broke their wifi calling where it doesn’t ring for them or the caller and goes straight to voice mail. That would seem to be consistent with my experience because this phone worked flawlessly on wifi calling on ICS before the update.

        • Paul

          Well then that sucks, but it seems it was the phone then.
          I have a Note 2, and I’m glad I didn’t get the S3. Oh well, bummer.

      • fsured

        Wi-fi calling is no longer a stand alone application. If you “own” your phone and apply different software to get better performance/features then that is no longer available to you (for those with Android). And as many have already stated, Apple does not allow the service on the Iphone.

        • RedGeminiPA

          There are tons of apps for iPhone that offer WiFi calling. Whoever told you there weren’t was trying to make more commission by selling you an Android phone.

        • fsured

          Well sure there are but many people are referring specifically to T-Mobile Wi-Fi calling. The company promotes their application to compensate for the signals inability to penetrate buildings and lack of coverage outside of cities. I don’t own an Iphone but previous posters to this same article are mentioning the TMO application as not available on the Iphone.

        • carcomptoy

          I replied specifically to Tina, who stated she had the HTC One. Considering she had just switched from and then straight back to Verizon, I assumed she had the T-Mobile branded HTC One that includes Wi-Fi Calling.

          T-Mobile’s Wi-Fi Calling, btw, was never available as a standalone app being that it requires deep system access.

        • fsured

          When I had the G1 it was and Mt4g I think was also stand alone. Maybe that had something to do with HTC phones not having it bundled into Sense yet (G1 didn’t have sense) but on my SG2 it’s part of Touchwiz. I still have the apk for it and gave it a shot with a custom rom but it didn’t work.

        • carcomptoy

          And that’s why I said standalone app. Sure, you get try and install the .apk on a non T-Mobile phone, but you still needed the kernel drivers from T-Mobile to get it to work. So yes, there was an app that controlled the Wi-Fi Calling that’s now been integrated into the mobile network settings, but that app alone was never enough to enable Wi-Fi Calling.

    • bob90210

      If T-Mobile is not providing the service you want then you should leave. As John Legere said, “If we suck this month, drop us. Go somewhere else. If we’re good, stay with us.” Just remember if Verizion sucks, you can drop them. In 2 years.

      • samsavoy

        Luckily that’s what several million people have already done the past few years. Didn’t work out for them too well.

      • kalel33

        Yeah, but some of us were put into a contract just for being a customer or changing the plan minutes. I didn’t do a phone subsidy or anything else that would have caused a 2 year contract 3 years ago, but that policy changed during the “stop the hemorrhaging of customers” time.

    • Spanky

      I’d much rather have service that works, even if it comes at a higher monthly payment. T-Mobile (and all other carriers, for that matter) is not for everyone. Believe me, I’d love to be enjoying T-Mobile’s lower prices. However, 0.5 Mbps downstream data speeds in a major city are simply unacceptable. Again, I’m not picking on T-Mobile and would absolutely love to come back. In order for me to do that, they’d have to make some drastic coverage improvements.

      • Paul

        What major city?

        I get 33Mbs down in Frisco Texas, and 20Mbs down in Dallas Texas.

        • Spanky

          I’m in Brooklyn, New York. Bensonhurst/Bath Beach area. I dealt with the issue for a year before switching carriers. I used to be able to get about 2.5 Mbps, which wasn’t great by any means, but tolerable. Quite literally overnight, the speeds dropped to 0.5 Mbps.

        • zeth006

          Brooklyn and in general much of NY constitute a high mobile traffic area. But I’m hearing Brooklyn ALSO got LTE coverage.

          If you’re not on a contract, I’d say you should stop by a TMO store, ask people in your area, and see just how good the LTE coverage is. I’m hearing LTE is now live in my area as well here in Orange County. But I’m just waiting for the Nexus 5 to roll so I can keep my $30 plan and just pay about 10x that for the phone.

    • Delusion_FTL

      wifi calling?

      • Paul

        That was my first thought as well.

      • MastarPete

        Someone correct me if I’m wrong but last I heard the itunes app rules prevent duplicating or overriding native features so seamless wifi calling won’t happen unless apple implements it at the OS level and officially lists the required api keys.

        • Derrek

          Bobsled app on the App Store is provided by T-Mo and includes wifi calling.

        • Delusion_FTL

          The OP uses an HTC one.

        • Chris

          What about Viber (available in iOS app store), Bobsled, Magic Jack, etc.? All of those are VOIP (which is what Wi-fi calling is). To me this is simply just T-mo not having Wi-fi app available for iOS users.

        • RedGeminiPA

          VoIP (WiFi) calling has been available via apps on the iPhone for several years. I’ve used them several times.

      • tina

        Unfortunately wifi at work doesn’t reach into my office cave. If it did, I might not switch. Just got my note ii from Verizon tonight. As soon as I activated it all the text messages I didnt get while on tmobile flowed onto my Verizon phone. Odd, what did tmobile do with my messages lol.

        • vrm

          how is that possible ? The messages are stored at the carrier site unless you download them. When you switched carriers, you should have lost the messages.

          You are making this up.

        • Tina

          Have better things to do than make up stories.

  • Zacamandapio

    T-mobile needs to add the iphone to MetroPCS and keep those pricings. That would drive more people to T-mobile.

    • CJ powers

      They won’t, that would be a bad move for them. They would only do moves that would be good for them mostly.

  • Whiskers

    I believe they would of sold alot more if they would of kept the price at $579.00 with the $99.00 down they started out with in April .

    • kalel33

      Probably, but they were taking a hit in selling it that low.

      • Whiskers

        Sometimes you have to give a little to get a whole lot back.

  • idroid

    I can’t believe people still buying this crap!

    • Oliver Jackson

      yep.isheep dont know any better

      • bob90210

        Exactly. Why are people using stuff that I don’t like? They are obviously wrong to use it since I am not using it!

      • TBN27

        What about former android users like myself who went over to iOS android wasn’t working well?

      • Sectime

        Actual experience vs your dreams.

    • Dakota

      Everyone I know with an iPhone loves it and never has a complaint…If something does go wrong, Apple provides support in store.

  • JimInChicago

    After ten otherwise happy years, including five years with an unlocked iPhone 2, I left T-Mobile last fall for Verizon when the iPhone 5 came out.

    I came back to T-Mobile a couple of months ago because they got the iPhone 5.

  • Rick Rudge

    T-Mobile has always been a great supporter of the iPhone, even when the only way of using your iPhone on T-Mobile was to JailBreak it. T-Mobile actually had support information on their web site on how to bring your iPhone to T-Mobile. I’m so happy to see T-Mobile being an official carrier of the latest-n-greatest iPhones. I’m especially happy to see T-Mobile making efforts to re-farm their HSPA+ to bring faster service to iPhone users. Thanks again, T-Mobile and keep up the good work.

  • GinaDee

    Wow. Spotty network performance is a non issue as long as the iPhone 5 is available?

    Not surprising coming from a demographic that puts price over quality.

    • Brad c

      network works great for me, faster speeds than i received with Verizon’s LTE and i have service everywhere i’ve needed it, plus not to mention people no longer sound muffled like they’re speaking through a pillow like on CDMA. To each is own i guess.

    • Paul

      I’m sure that would be the experience if you live in the woods.

      I have, on average, 30 Mbs download in my apartment. Performance is top notch for me.

      • kalel33

        I live in a city of 400,000(Colorado Springs) and it’s spotty here, with multiple areas of 2G and leaving on one highway, you have no service from 5 miles outside of the limits for the next hour of driving.

        Depends on your city but the previous city(Wichita) also has 400,000 and many parts of the Westside of town have no coverage whatsoever and drops to 2G at many spots. East side is good though.

        • Jared Wolfe

          I live just north of Colorado Springs in Highlands Ranch, Colorado. I DO see speeds from 20Mbps – 30Mbps. If I could post screen shots I would. I have Samsung Galaxy S4 LTE phone. Just wait till LTE-A gets up and running by the end of year. I should see speeds 40Mbps – 50Mbps with Note 3.

        • kalel33

          LTE-A isn’t coming anytime soon, especially not by the end of the year, and actually LTE-A makes coverage worse with calls than the regular GSM. The signal doesn’t transmit as far as the current system does. So those dropped calls on Woodman and Academy and Union would get worse with LTE-A. There’s only one carrier in the world right now pushing out LTE-A and that’s in South Korea.

        • Jared Wolfe

          Thanks for pointing that out its NOT LTE-A. However T-Mobile plans to double their speed. We should see speeds ~50Mbps by the end of the year.

        • Spanky

          I live in a city of 8.5 million (NYC) and the data speed in my neighborhood tops out at about 0.5 Mbps downstream. It’s not just small towns, or even mid-size cities, that are plagued by T-Mobile’s coverage issues. I would love to be paying T-Mobile’s prices, but 0.5 Mbps just doesn’t work for me.

        • FuturePS4Gamer

          I have gotten 25+ MB at my house but if I go a mile down the street then I have no reception. I went up to a casino and I had no reception in the mountains or casino thank goodness for WiFi

        • Sectime

          Never been there, I hear its nice. Millions haven’t either All these posters concerning bad Tmo service in their world , who cares?? Use the service or not. But posting about how bad it is over and over is wierd and screams 14 years old. Not you specifically.

        • kalel33

          The network issues are a bother at times but I’m realistic in knowing I get what I paid for . If great data and voice connections at almost all locations was a priority then I’d switch carriers. T-mobile will never be Verizon or AT&T and that’s fine. You can’t expect best network at value prices.

    • TechHog

      Tell us how you really feel.

  • Paul

    I have a friend who switch to AT&T to get the iPhone. I can’t say that she was grateful to switch to AT&T, but she does love her iPhone.
    I get that a lot of people like that device and that’s fine if you want to get that device. I, personally, think Android phones are better. I am glad that customers are happy that Magenta carry the iPhone.

    That said, if you jump to a carrier for a specific model phone then you are one of the biggest idiot in the nation. From what happened when AT&T started carrying the iPhone there are a lot of idiots in this nation!
    A phone is a terrible reason to jump carriers if your service performance is fine.

    My mom actually does like your Android phone, and didn’t want an iPhone. She is so upset with AT&T that she switching back to Magenta.

    • Tmo1082

      The iPhone is a different experience than any Android phone. It’s not like your comparing a Sony and a Samsung phone. People like the iPhone because Apple goes the extra mile to make a complete system from the App store, iTunes, simplicity of the phone, and look of the phone. When you plug a iPhone into a computer iTunes takes care of transferring everything on the phone. Apple also stands behind their products. If you need a rep you can get a hold of one real easy. If you have to go to a store and you haven’t caused the problem with your phone Apple will replace it just about every time at no extra charge at the store. Android fans can hate on Apple all they want but thats why people will switch carriers for the iPhone and T-Mobile found that out the hard way.

      • Wayne Peterkin

        ive replaced phones just through tmobile alone many times before. I like that on Android you can transfer anything that you want to the phone, not just what apple allows. I also like that I can use an android phone on MOST desktop OS’ which includes many linux distros easily. for the many people that dont use itunes or just don’t like it, android is excellent. Apple goes the extra mile to box you in and keep you there. Applestands behind there products alright, even to the point of lying to there customers. Remeber things such as you are holdingit wrong, and howmuch they had to be pressured into doing the right thing and give customers bumpers so they could properly place a phone call. People like to be a part of something, andthe iphone is a big fad. the iphone has the apple logo on it, so people want it. thats pretty much all it is.

    • Sectime

      Nice, people are idiots because they buy what they want. You, on the other hand are a mega star loved by all, Oh wait…

  • MetroPCS

    T-Mobile needs to improve In Building coverage! I know their spectrum sux and is not in the 100s. But when you lose service everytime you are in a Costco, Target or a McD’s you feel cheated! I know you pay a bit less with T-Mobile, but you do suffer in these cases compared to an AT&T or Verizon.

    • SaVaGe211

      I usually have 2-3 bars in any stores idk how you got no service..

      • kalel33

        I have problems in Sam’s Club, the office building I work in(which doesn’t offer WIFI to the workers), and Target. Maybe it’s the composite of the building but I’ve never been in a Sam’s Club that ever had good penetration with T-mobile.

        • SaVaGe211

          Yeah sometimes it might drop to edge If im deep inside a huge building but I usually always have at least 2 bars. It all depends if theres a tower right by you outside. A lot of times it switches me back and forth between towers they cant make up their mind

    • vrm

      actually it has improved. But you may need to change your phone and/or SIM card. I used to have the same problem with HTC sensation (only AWS). I bought a PCS compatible phone and in-building coverage improved. Apparently the refarming quietly made the service worse for many people.

  • vrm

    It is not a great sign if they are still talking about retaining customers, after all the changes they made recently. It suggests that tmobile is having issues with retention.

    The co. has to realize that peoples’ expectations of a mobile service has changed. Even older people are getting smart phones and on to data plans. Small businesses travel a lot in their local area, sometimes to the fringes of an urban area. They are expecting not only their phone but their data service to work everywhere they go. And verizon and at & t have also enabled to set this expectation.

    If they want to retain customers, they should start focusing on each urban area and improve coverage just outside this area to cover the most common travel patterns of customers. Then the highways. They don’t need the coverage of at & t but to retain more customers, they will have to improve it around the metro areas, tourist/travel destinations, highways. This is where people WANT to use data and get frustrated.

    • zeth006

      I’m sure they’re well aware of this. But for some reason or another, they’ve poured so much money into upgrading existing towers for LTE while repeatedly saying they weren’t expanding coverage. Kind of leaves me disappointed too.

  • KingCobra

    Well it appears the iPhone is doing the job that T-Mobile had intended and retained existing customers and reduce churn. I personally left Verizon and came back to T-Mobile once the iPhone 5 came out on the network since that was the main reason I had left in the first place. Never had very many complaints about the actual service. Many other customers were the same way.