Here’s a simple fact of life for wireless carriers — if you offer Apple’s smartphone, customers will flock to your company. That said, T-Mobile is the only major US carrier that doesn’t have it and their subscriber numbers are shrinking. However, hope is on the horizon for the number four wireless network as the T-Mobile iPhone is coming soon.
AT&T’s failed 2011 acquisition left T-Mobile swinging in the breeze with a shrinking subscriber base on a creaking 3G network with no plans or much money to improve the situation. Though they aren’t out of the woods yet, ongoing HSPA+ (4G) and LTE network upgrades and plans to acquire MetroPCS could make the company competitive once again.
The killer upgrade, however, won’t be arriving until next year. Morgan Stanley analyst Nick Delfas says T-Mobile could “announce official iPhone distribution in early 2013,” which could boost the carrier’s subscriber numbers by one to two million iPhone 5 buyers in the first quarter alone.
That’s huge, but the iPhone 5 is an LTE device and the carrier lags other carriers badly on that front. T-Mobile’s rapidly expanding HSPA+ network, which offers respectable 14Mbps download speeds, could attract a large number of iPhone 4 (free) and iPhone 4S ($99) buyers with an appealing package of low prices, broad coverage and “good enough” performance.
Lastly, AT&T is consistently rated by consumers as the worst US wireless carrier, giving T-Mobile a huge pool of subscribers in waiting.
Hating AT&T? Looking for a way out? T-Mobile just might be the answer…
What’s your take?