T-Mobile’s aggressive new plans have generated massive media coverage and its flamboyant CEO has turned into a bit of a nerd superstar. But now that all American carriers have reported Q1 numbers, the actual results T-Mobile is achieving look a bit murkier than people expected. The share price of T-Mobile dropped sharply yesterday as the company revealed its Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) plunged to $50.70 from $55.47 a year earlier. Markets were expecting a number north of $51.00, which means the new customers T-Mobile is acquiring are spending less than analysts thought they would. More →
If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then AT&T, Verizon and Sprint must all hold T-Mobile CEO John Legere in high regard. OK, so that’s definitely not true but it is true that Legere and his underdog mobile carrier have been the major trendsetters in the wireless industry over the past year. More →
T-Mobile wants peace with BlackBerry fans and BlackBerry itself, which were both enraged in recent days by the carrier’s recent marketing push that offered a cheaper iPhone upgrade for subscribers ditching their old BlackBerry devices. Following the duel between BlackBerry CEO John Chen and T-Mobile’s chief John Legere, the carrier said that “the passion we’ve seen from the BlackBerry Loyal over the past couple days has been pretty amazing” and that it heard fans. Thus, T-Mobile has quickly adapted its special upgrade plan created for BlackBerry’s faithful buyers, to better meet their needs.
Uh-oh. It looks like T-Mobile CEO John Legere is tired of playing nice with BlackBerry and has issued a not-so-subtle dig at the smartphone pioneer on his Twitter feed. In a message posted on Wednesday, Legere said that he “was going to engage John Chen on Twitter, but turns out he’s not here.” So instead, Legere said that he would “check MySpace” to see if Chen still has an account there. The MySpace reference is particularly brutal since both MySpace and BlackBerry dominated their respective industries last decade and have now been driven to dire straits by competing products and services. More →
You wouldn’t like BlackBerry CEO John Chen when he’s angry. Ever since Chen took over as BlackBerry’s CEO he’s taken an aggressive stance against anyone who disrespects his company, whether they’re smarty-pants bloggers or Ryan Seacrest. Now Chen is calling out wireless carrier T-Mobile, which angered BlackBerry fans recently by sending them targeted promotions encouraging them to switch to Apple’s iPhone. More →
There may not be nearly as many BlackBerry diehards as there once were but those who have stuck with the company have a fanatical devotion to it not seen since Mac users circa 1995. There’s something about seeing their favorite products in grave danger that has really united the remaining BlackBerry super fans and if you do anything to upset them or make them feel disrespected they will let you know about it very loudly. More →
No two companies love one another more right now than AT&T and T-Mobile, which is why T-Mobile CEO John Legere has taken the extra step this year to send AT&T a Valentine’s Day greeting of his own. On his Twitter feed, Legere posted a picture of a couple passionately kissing along with the tagline “Let’s kiss and break up… with AT&T.” Legere’s latest attempt at starting a meme ties into T-Mobile’s “breakup letter” campaign where customers who switch to T-Mobile can send readymade breakup letters informing their old carriers they’ve been dumped. T-Mobile, which added a very impressive 869,000 postpaid subscribers last quarter, said last month that more than 80,000 switchers have sent breakup letters to their old carriers and we imagine that number has grown quite a bit since then. Legere’s valentine to AT&T follows below. More →
If you don’t like the thought of Sprint buying up T-Mobile then the last two days have brought some welcome news. Not only is Sprint reportedly rethinking its decision to buy T-Mobile but Reuters reports that T-Mobile parent company Deutsche Telekom is also getting cold feet about selling off the “Uncarrier.” Essentially, unnamed sources are telling Reuters that Deutsche Telekom execs are nervous about U.S. regulatory agencies killing off the merger just as they killed off its last attempt to unload T-Mobile onto AT&T. Although Deutsche Telekom doesn’t think T-Mobile has much potential for long-term profitability, it’s apparently no longer as eager to get rid of its American subsidiary as it once was because T-Mobile has had so much success recently in adding customers faster than any other carrier in the U.S. For fans of T-Mobile who want to see it stay independent, this should come as a happy development.
While T-Mobile has clearly gotten into AT&T’s head, many analysts expected that Sprint would be the company that had the most to fear from T-Mobile’s “Uncarrier” initiatives. However, Sprint’s fourth-quarter earnings report shows that the carrier surprisingly added 58,000 postpaid subscribers in Q4 even though the consensus expectation was for a net loss somewhere in the neighborhood of 365,000. Sprint also posted a net loss of $0.26 per share, which was better than the consensus expectation of a $0.32 loss per share, while also posting better-than-expected revenu of $9.14 billion. The company’s full press release follows below. More →
Sprint’s never-ending attempt to acquire T-Mobile has run into some headwinds lately. Two weeks ago, unnamed sources in the Department of Justice told the Wall Street Journal that having four major national carriers was important for healthy competition, and last week Sprint’s chairman met with the FCC to try to convince it that consolidation will help it compete with Verizon and AT&T. However, it looks like the pushback that Sprint is getting from regulators is giving the carrier second thoughts about the wisdom of merging with T-Mobile. More →
T-Mobile’s chief executive John Legere is a marketing genius. There’s no denying it. His antics have made a carrier that no one really cared about a few short years ago the talk of the tech press on a regular basis. What’s more, consumers are listening — T-Mobile added 4.4 million net new postpaid subscribers last year. In the fourth quarter of 2013, T-Mobile netted 869,000 new postpaid customers while its self-proclaimed top rival AT&T only gained 566,000 net postpaid subs. Make no mistake about it, those are phenomenal results and T-Mobile is, without question, the most important wireless carrier in America right now. That said, it’s time to clear the air. With tricky marketing and CEO Legere’s constant barrage of shocking commentary, T-Mobile has managed to convince U.S. consumers that it has eliminated cell phone contracts. Simply put, this just isn’t true. More →
At what point would it be appropriate to suggest that T-Mobile should buy Sprint instead of the other way around? Barron’s flags a new research note from RBC Capital Markets analyst Jonathan Atkin, who says that T-Mobile’s pledge to pay off rivals’ early termination fees could have an absolutely devastating impact on Sprint, the company that just happens to be working on a plan to buy up America’s “Uncarrier.” How bad might things be for Sprint? Well, consider that the consensus expectation for this quarter is that Sprint will report losing somewhere in the neighborhood of 365,000 postpaid wireless subscribers… and Atkin says that estimate was made before factoring in T-Mobile’s ETF payout gambit, which he says could “lead to wider losses” for the carrier than anyone had previously imagined.
The last time Sprint made a major acquisition in the wireless space, it turned out to be an unmitigated disaster for both its own customers and for the company itself. Sprint’s 2005 merger with Nextel was the start of a downward spiral for Sprint that saw it lose millions of wireless subscribers to AT&T and Verizon and that saw it fall far behind in the race to deploy LTE due to its decision to instead use WiMAX as its 4G technology. More →