Lack of iPhone Root for Poor US Sales for T-Mobile

Posted by at 11:30 am on November 4, 2010

Deutsche Telekom’s CEO Rene Obermann directly blamed the absence of the iPhone for the poor performance of T-Mobile USA. The carrier gained just 137,000 new subscribers in the summer, pushed mostly by prepaid users and not smartphones. Network quality was important but didn’t matter if the right devices weren’t present, he said.

“Consumers like T-Mobile but they also want to have the iPhone,” Obermann said during a call discussing the carrier’s international results.

Apple is thought eager to expand beyond AT&T both to keep its iPhone growth steady but also to head off Android and BlackBerry sales. The decision to get an exclusive with AT&T helped with collaboration features such as Visual Voicemail but has since cost Apple ground with Google. As Android quickly became the most popular smartphone platform on Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon, it let Google get the most marketing attention and high-profile releases. The deal likewise oversaturated AT&T’s 3G network in certain cities and led some to deliberately avoid the iPhone solely for the choice of network.

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