2011 was an interesting year for T-Mobile, mostly due to the AT&T merger drama whose slow death was finalized in December when AT&T officially pulled the plug on the deal. After the FCC and DOJ voiced their disapproval, the deal began a slow decline that eventually ended in AT&T talking about failures in innovation and owning Deutsche Telekom billions in breakup fees.
Now, some bad news about T-Mobile on the subscriber front.
Deutsche Telekom announced that T-Mobile USA lost 802,000 contract customers in Q4. They seem to blame it on the lack of the iPhone:
For T-Mobile USA, the past year was characterized by significant challenges, particularly in the fourth quarter, following the market launch of the new Apple iPhone model by the three major national competitors in October.
Although the rumors were everywhere preceding the release of the iPhone 4S that it would be coming to T-Mobile, they all proved to be incorrect. Sprint ended up getting the iPhone, making T-Mobile the only major carrier in the U.S. to not offer the popular Apple device. Recently, there has been new talk of T-Mobile getting the iPhone – whenever the iPhone 5 finally drops. T-Mobile’s CTO told the CES conference in January that that the new iPhone would include a chipset that could make bringing the device to T-Mobile a possibility. Of course, it all really depends on whether or not they can reach a deal.
It appears that the lack of the iPhone really hurt T-Mobile in this most recent quarter. Revenue sank 3.3% to $20.6 billion.
It wasn’t all bad news from Deutsche Telekom. They also said that T-Mobile will debut an LTE service next year. They would most likely be the last ones on that ship as well.