updated 11:20 am EST, Fri February 25, 2011
T-Mobile Q4 sees it lose 23,000 customers
T-Mobile's US branch swung back to losing subscribers owing to its struggles to lure customers away from the iPhone and rival Android supporters. It lost a total of 23,000 subscribers in its latest quarter, ended in January, where it had added 137,000 users the season before and 371,000 a year ago. The overall customer turnover rate was also up to 3.6 percent and about three times higher than what was seen at AT&T and Verizon.
Most of the turnover was blamed on prepaid users, but the absolute subscriber losses were chiefly blamed on a loss of 318,000 contract customers, the core of its smartphone base. T-Mobile didn't give a specific explanation as to what was causing the losses but pointed to "competitive intensity" that implied switches to AT&T and Verizon for the iPhone and Android lineups.
The carrier mostly took comfort in its average data revenue per person shooting up 25.5 percent in the past year, a reflection of more of its customers moving over to smartphones like the T-Mobile G2 and Samsung Vibrant.
Most of the company's plans for success are hinging on the devices that are shipping just recently or in the near future, such as the Samsung Galaxy S 4G and its first Android 3.0 tablet, the LG G-Slate.
The carrier along with Sprint has regularly had trouble maintaining customers over the past few years and in many cases could attribute the defections to customers leaving for either AT&T or Verizon. T-Mobile in its summer quarter directly blamed a lack of the iPhone for the problem. It has dropped periodic clues that it's talking to Apple about a deal using the same coded language Verizon used, but separate leaks haven't popped up to corroborate the claims so far.