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T-Mobile loses 93,000 customers but triples smartphone base

updated 08:25 am EDT, Thu August 5, 2010

T-Mobile spring 2010 sees shift to smartphones

T-Mobile today reported results that showed a major swing towards smartphones. The company lost 93,000 customers as a whole but more than tripled the number of smartphones on its network in the past year from just 2.1 million last spring to 6.5 million a year later. Many of these were using Android phones like the myTouch 3G Slide, but the success of the HD2 and core devices like the BlackBerry Bold 9700 also played a part.

The results shrank T-Mobile down to 33.6 million total users but were still looked on favorably by parent company Deutsche Telekom chief Rene Obermann, who noted that it was the first time in over a year that the number of contract subscribers had increased. It added a total 106,000 of the more sustainable users where many of those leaving were prepaid.

T-Mobile remains the fourth-largest carrier in the US and has continued to struggle for a foothold where its larger rivals have in many cases been luring away its customers. While the first in the country to have Android phones, much of its advantage has been lost as Verizon has drawn much of the attention away with its Droid line; Sprint, which has seen long, slow declines, has also credited Android to success as the Evo 4G triggered its first gain of new customers in years. It may not have a significant halo device to lure customers in again until the myTouch 3G HD, which should be the first HSPA+ phone and possibly the first dual-core Android phone.

AT&T's exclusivity for the iPhone has also been a significant problem for T-Mobile, but this may change later this year if rumors of a T-Mobile USA iPhone in the fall are accurate. As the only other major GSM carrier in the US, T-Mobile could use Apple's handset without a significant change of form factor.

By Electronista Staff


  1. Jonathan-Tanya

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 2004



    T-mobile has placed the Nokia Nuron on it's feature phone data plan.
    It's a low-end smartphone, to be sure, but for $10 a month unlimited data - for a phone that has turn-by-turn navigation at no extra cost, and a webkit based browser, that's pretty sweet.

    Also, they allow tethering on their 'data devices', like the Blackberry Bold 9700 and some WinMo devices- this also involves no extra charge.

    Plus, they allow you to apply a corporate discount. My monthly bill is $90 a month and I have two smartphones with unlimited data plans - one Nokia, one Blackberry, I tether the Blackberry to my iPad (using a separately purchased hardware wi-fi hotspot device).

    Can you believe it, that is cheap compared to AT&T and Verizon. I don't care that the blackberry is just a phone, because I can tether my iPad, and I can run all those iOS programs, same as anyone else.

    Although, as a matter of actual use patterns, I leave the iPad at home, most of the time.

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