New plans and iPhone help T-Mobile snag 1.1 million new customers

The question now is how long T-Mobile's gains, which includes the strongest consumer growth in four years, will last. 

  • close
    T-Mobile Chief Executive John Legere at an event in July.
    View Caption
  • About video ads
    View Caption

Earlier this year, T-Mobile USA announced it would do away entirely with contracts and instead allow consumers to purchase an unsubsidized phone and pay for unlimited service on a month-by-month basis. Some onlookers expressed skepticism that it was really such a great deal for consumers – even if the "un-carrier" plan also arrived in lockstep with the long-awaited introduction of the T-Mobile iPhone 5

But today T-Mobile affirmed that the whole thing is working very well, thank you very much.

How well? Let's go to the numbers: According to T-Mobile, in the second quarter of 2013, the company added 1.1 million new customers, including 685,000 contract subscribers – apparently the strongest growth that T-Mobile has enjoyed in four years. Unsurprisingly, revenue is also up, by 27.5 percent year-over-year. 

Recommended: iPhone 5? The 11 best uses for your old iPhone

"T-Mobile's Un-carrier approach has clearly resonated with consumers," T-Mobile chief John Legere said in a statement. "By fixing the things that drive them mad, like contracts and upgrades, and freeing them from the two-year sentences imposed on them by our competitors, they are choosing the new T-Mobile in unprecedented numbers." 

T-Mobile is currently the fourth-largest carrier in the US, lagging behind Verizon Wireless, AT&T, and Sprint. Obviously the second quarter numbers are extremely good news for T-Mobile. But some analysts have wondered whether this isn't a temporary bump that can be attributed to the iPhone 5 and the noise surrounding the initial "un-carrier" announcement. 

"The question remains as to whether [T-Mobile] can sustain the performance in postpaid as the iPhone buzz fades and competitive intensity rises," New Street's Jonathan Chaplin cautioned in a research note obtained by Reuters. 

Make a Difference
Inspired? Here are some ways to make a difference on this issue.
FREE Newsletters
Get the Monitor stories you care about delivered to your inbox.

We want to hear, did we miss an angle we should have covered? Should we come back to this topic? Or just give us a rating for this story. We want to hear from you.