updated 03:00 am EDT, Wed September 28, 2011
Acknowledges 'disappointment' over not carrying it
T-Mobile has posted an open letter to their customers, summarizing earlier remarks made by Chief Marketing Officer Cole Brodman, acknowledging in unusually candid terms that it was aware of "many" customers who were disappointed that the company does not carry the iPhone. Brodman admitted that "we think the iPhone is a great device" and that "Apple knows we would like to add it to our line-up" but that the matter was in Apple's hands, and that in the meantime its focus was on Android and 4G.
The note also acknowledged the presence of more than one million customers who were using unlocked iPhones on T-Mobile's network, and said that the company wanted to offer them a "no-compromise iPhone experience" on its network. The note then goes on to promote instead the company's latest lineup of Android phones, noting that Android has "evolved from geek to chic" and noting that Android-supporting phones come in a wide variety of models, colors, sizes and other options -- something the iPhone can't match.
T-Mobile's post, while laudable for its openness, amounts to little more than trying to make lemonade out of lemons. Its main rival, Sprint, has done a poor job of keeping its glee over an all-but-certain announcement on October 4th under wraps, and the company clearly believes that having the latest model iPhone running the latest iOS version debuting on its network will result in large gains in both current customer retention and new customers and revenue.
Ironically, T-Mobile could end up carrying the iPhone at some point in the future if the proposed merger with AT&T were given a green light. The deal, which faces stiff opposition, would inevitably change T-Mobile's emphasis on Android products, which now make up 90 percent of its smartphone business, leaving just 3.4 million subscribers using other smartphones -- with roughly one third already acknowledged to be using the iPhone.