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Thursday, August 08, 2013, 05:39 am PT (08:39 am ET)

Addition of Apple's iPhone helps T-Mobile USA to strongest growth in 4 years

After steadily losing customers for years, T-Mobile had a total of 1.1 million customer net additions in its second quarter of fiscal 2013, with much of that success attributed to the addition of Apple's iPhone.

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T-Mobile's second quarter, the results of which were reported on Thursday, was the company's strongest growth in four years. The company touted the successful launch of Apple's iPhone 5, as well as its new Simple Choice and Jump plans.

The iPhone debuted on T-Mobile, America's fourth-largest wireless carrier, in April, going on to sell 500,000 units in less than a month. T-Mobile revealed on Thursday that the iPhone has accounted for about 29 percent of the carrier's branded gross customer additions and upgrade smartphone sales, excluding MetroPCS, since its launch.

T-Mobile has attempted to differentiate itself from the competition with an initiative dubbed "Un-carrier." The company was the first to offer an early upgrade program for its customers — a plan that was quickly followed by both Verizon and AT&T.

"T-Mobile's Un-carrier approach has clearly resonated with consumers. 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," said T-Mobile President and Chief Executive John Legere. "We are just beginning and we will continue to apply this innovative thinking to the Un-carrier offers we create and to the internal operations of our company, which taken together are driving significant shareholder value creation."

Last week, Consumer Intelligence Research Partners estimated that the addition of Apple's iPhone may have kept 400,000 customers from leaving T-Mobile last quarter. The survey also found that 28 percent of T-Mobile subscribers planning to change devices in the next year say they will choose the iPhone.

T-Mobile was the last major carrier in the U.S. to gain access to Apple's iPhone. Previous losses seen by the company were attributed in large part to the lack of the iPhone, which is the most popular smartphone in America.