T-Mobile Adds 650,000 Subscribers, Sells More Than 500,000 iPhones

By Craig Galbraith Comments
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T-Mobile USA is reporting one of its best quarters in recent memory.

In its newly released earnings report, America's fourth-largest mobile operator reported a jump of 648,000 customers – a higher net increase than larger rival AT&T, which added only 363,000 subscribers last quarter. Market leader Verizon Wireless added 927,000, and No. 3 carrier Sprint lost 360,000.

The good news beat analysts' estimates and gave credence to the Bellevue, Wash.-based operator's new "uncarrier" strategy. Unveiled earlier this year, the carrier got rid of contracts for new subscribers, but also eliminated subsidies that make smartphones less expensive. T-Mo lost nearly a half-million subscribers in the same quarter a year ago.

"Momentum continues, and we're working diligently to ensure it doesn't stop," T-Mobile CEO John Legere said on a conference call with investors, Reuters noted.

The company said about 15 percent of its smartphone sales, or roughly 540,000, were Apple iPhones.

Not all was rosy, however; T-Mobile still lost $36 million in the quarter. Its average revenue per user (ARPU) also fell – from $56.69 a year ago to $52.20 – not a huge surprise since postpaid contracts tend to drive this number up. But the company is clearly trending in the right direction.

Follow senior online managing editor @Craig_Galbraith on Twitter.

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