Mobile

The ‘Uncarrier’ keeps growing: T-Mobile adds over 1M customers, sells 5.6M smartphones

Above: T-Mobile CEO John Legere

Image Credit: Devindra Hardawar/VentureBeat
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T-Mobile’s turnaround story continues in its latest earnings report.

The carrier announced this morning that it has added more than 1 million customers for the third quarter, giving it a total of more than 45 million customers. Additionally, T-Mobile sold more than 5.6 million smartphones during the quarter.

648,000 of T-Mobile’s new customers were valuable postpaid users — or those who pay for one of the company’s monthly subscription plans. Last quarter, T-Mobile added a similar number of new and postpaid customers.

In its earnings call, the carrier said only around 15 percent of smartphones sold during the quarter were iPhones. Additionally, T-Mobile hinted that supply issues around the iPhone launch had hampered sales. I wouldn’t be surprised if Apple didn’t prioritize T-Mobile’s iPhone inventory at launch.

The steady rise of customers is a sign that T-Mobile’s “Uncarrier” moves are paying off. This year the company announced that it is killing off service contracts, and it followed that up with some industry-shifting reveals like its early upgrade program, free international roaming, and free mobile data for tablets. AT&T and Verizon were forced to follow suit with their own early upgrade programs, so it’s clear that T-Mobile is influencing its competitors with these seemingly crazy changes.

You can count me among those new T-Mobile customers last quarter. The carrier’s consistently intriguing announcements, combined with a cheaper service plan than what I was paying AT&T, led me to jump to T-Mobile on the iPhone 5S launch. Its LTE network isn’t as extensive as the bigger carriers (T-Mobile says it now covers 203 million people), but it’s decently fast throughout New York, and it’s also getting better as the company snaps up more spectrum.

More about the companies and people from this article:

T-Mobile USA, Inc. is the U.S. wireless operation of Deutsche Telekom AG. By the end of the first quarter of 2012, approximately 129 million mobile customers were served by the mobile communication segments of the Deutsche Telekom grou... read more »

T-Mobile USA Inc., the fourth- largest U.S. wireless carrier, named John Legere as chief executive officer, turning to a phone-industry veteran to reinvigorate growth and challenge Verizon Wireless and AT&T Inc. Legere, a former CEO ... read more »

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