Apple iPhone Fuels T-Mobile's First Branded Customer Growth in Four Years

T-Mobile USA began selling Apple's iPhone 5 device on April 12, 2013, becoming the last of the four major wireless carriers in the U.S. to splash the iPhone party. Despite the late start, or perhaps as a result of it, T-Mobile wasted no time moving iPhone 5 models off of store shelves, selling approximately 500,000 units to new and existing customers during its first quarter for fiscal 2013. As a result, T-Mobile ended up gaining 3,000 branded net customers for the quarter, which is representative of a 61 percent year-over-year improvement in branded postpaid net customer losses. It's also the first branded customer growth the company has seen since the first quarter of 2009.

There's plenty of positive momentum at T-Mobile. Not only did the "Un-carrier" finally convince Apple that the fourth largest wireless carrier in the U.S. should be able to sell iPhone models, it also rolled out simplified plans and eliminated service contracts, which customers seem to be reacting positively to, then merged with MetroPCS.

T-Mobile iPhone 5
Image Source: Flickr (brownpau)

"Our first quarter operating metrics and financial results are showing positive impact from the changes we began making in the fourth quarter. Branded customer net additions turned positive for the first time since the first quarter of 2009 and our postpaid business has demonstrated significant improvement," said John Legere, President & CEO of T-Mobile. "We ended the quarter with strong operational momentum, which is continuing into the second quarter, driven by the successful launch of our Un-carrier 'Simple Choice' service plan and the introduction of the iPhone into our device line-up. Things only get more exciting from here, having brought T-Mobile USA and MetroPCS together to create the wireless industry's value leader and premier challenger."

Momentum aside, T-Mobile's first quarter revenues slipped 7 percent compared to a year ago, totaling $4.68 billion versus $5.03 billion. Service revenue dropped nearly 10 percent to $4 billion, but was offset by a jump in equipment revenue, T-Mobile reported.