T-Mobile USA Loses Subs, Waiting on the iPhone

T-Mobile reported Q2 results, losing revenue and customers. Those results are being spun in a couple of different ways; "stabilizing" vs. "worrying" are the two themes playing out in the coverage. Overall T-Mobile USA lost almost 100K subscribers in the pre-paid category, while adding 106,000 contract accounts:

T-Mobile USA served 33.6 million customers (as defined in Note 3 to the Selected Data, below) at the end of the second quarter of 2010, down from 33.7 million at the end of the first quarter of 2010 and up from 33.5 million at the end of the second quarter of 2009.

  • In the second quarter of 2010, total customers served declined by 93,000, compared to a net decline of 77,000 in the first quarter of 2010 and net customer additions of 325,000 in the second quarter of 2009.
  • Sequentially and year-on-year, the number of net new customer additions decreased due primarily to fewer net prepaid customer additions.

Contract net customer additions were 106,000 in the second quarter of 2010, compared to 118,000 net contract customer losses in the first quarter of 2010, and 56,000 net contract customer additions in the second quarter of 2009.

T-Moble has generally good customer service ratings and the most affordable rate plans of the four US major carriers. Arguably, however, it's perceived to have the weakest network, notwithstanding the complaints against AT&T.

There are some relatively new rumors that T-Mobile may be the next US carrier in line to get the iPhone (T-Mobile in Germany has the iPhone). That is probably because T-Mobile is a GSM carrier; Apple has to build CDMA compatible iPhones for Sprint or Verizon.

Yet if the iPhone were to come to T-Mobile it would add excitement and appeal lacking from the carrier's current line-up of second-tier Android devices.