updated 10:30 am EDT, Thu April 23, 2009
T-Mo Hits 1m G1 Phones
T-Mobile has quietly revealed in its latest results that it has sold 1 million of its Android-based G1 phone in the US since the phone launched 6 months earlier, in October. The number is a relative strong point for the carrier, which is fourth among US carriers behind Verizon, AT&T and Sprint, but trails significantly behind sales of the iPhone 3G at AT&T; about 1.6 million iPhones sold through AT&T in just the most recent quarter, indicating a disproportionately larger demand for the iPhone.
Figures from the carrier's worldwide update also show the G1 as the predominant 3G phone on the American network; a total of 1.5 million 3G-capable devices are on T-Mobile's US network and hint that devices outside of the G1 have only a fraction of its share.
While its success is a fraction of that of official iPhone rivals, the G1 has been at times deliberately limited by T-Mobile to preserve its experience. For the first few months, the company would only allow retail sales at stores that were inside the official 3G coverage area, which on the G1's launch included only 21 major areas; other customers could sample the phone at some stores but had to buy online. Since then, T-Mobile's 3G coverage has expanded to potentially address as much as one third of the US population, while the G1 can now be had through any of T-Mobile's retail shops.
In spite of widening access, the provider still faces a need to improve its appeal in the face of rapidly weakening subscriber additions. Where it added 981,000 customers in the first calendar quarter of 2008, it only added 415,000 users, 60 percent of which were opting for prepaid phones instead of subscription-only devices like the G1. Its average revenue per month, per user also dropped from $56 to $53 over the same stretch as customers either went to prepaid or otherwise less expensive service than what the G1 requires.
T-Mobile is believed to soon be countering its decreases with the G2, a second Android touchscreen phone based on the HTC Magic, but didn't make any related announcements that were rumored for this week. [via Telephony Online]