T-Mobile sees Q4 slump, blames everyone else having an iPhone 4S

T-Mobile had a rough final quarter of 2011, and openly pointed the finger at iPhone 4S launches on AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon as the cause. Total revenues at T-Mobile were $5.2 billion, down from $5.4 billion in Q4 2010, and customer losses amounted 526,000 for the quarter, compared to a 23,000 customer loss at the same time last year. Here's some of the more detailed financial information.

  • Adjusted OIBDA increased by 4.3% year-on-year to $1.4 billion in the fourth quarter of 2011, adjusted OIBDA margin improved 2 percentage points year-on-year to 31% in the fourth quarter of 2011
  • Branded contract losses improved through the third quarter of 2011, however the launch of the iPhone 4S reversed this trend to a branded contract customer loss of 706,000 in the fourth quarter of 2011
  • Strong branded prepaid additions of 220,000 in the fourth quarter of 2011, primarily due to continued success of unlimited Monthly 4G prepaid plans
  • Service revenues down 2.7% year-on-year to $4.6 billion in the fourth quarter of 2011, due to branded contract customer losses and revenue effects from the shift to unlimited Value plans
  • Branded contract ARPU increased $2 year-on-year to $58 in the fourth quarter of 2011, mainly driven by an increase in data ARPU
  • Branded Data ARPU increased $2.70 year-on-year to $16.50 in the fourth quarter of 2011
  • T-Mobile USA is reinvigorating its challenger strategy, which includes a major network modernization plan to launch LTE in 2013
  • On December 20, 2011 T-Mobile USA’s proposed sale to AT&T, Inc. was terminated; due to the termination of the sale near year-end, T-Mobile USA’s annual impairment assessment of indefinite-lived assets is still ongoing

It's a little crazy that a single phone can put this much of a dent into a carrier, but T-Mobile has been bottom of the U.S. carrier food chain for some time now, and with the AT&T deal completely fallen apart, there's going to be no easy way out of the slump. I'd love to see an AWS-capable iPhone, namely so I could use one up here in Canada on Wind Mobile, Videotron, or Mobilicity 3G networks, but if T-Mobile can't offer Apple enough customers to make it worth their while, then I don't see it happening any time soon.

Source: T-Mobile

Simon Sage

Editor-at-very-large at Mobile Nations, gamer, giant.