Apple's iPhone may have kept 400K customers from leaving T-Mobile

article thumbnail

AppleInsider is supported by its audience and may earn commission as an Amazon Associate and affiliate partner on qualifying purchases. These affiliate partnerships do not influence our editorial content.

Finally striking a deal with Apple may just have kept T-Mobile from losing nearly half a million customers over the last quarter, according to a new report that examined the impact of the iPhone on America's fourth-largest carrier.

A new study out from Consumer Intelligence Research Partners estimates that between 300,000 and 400,000 total customers who would have otherwise left wound up staying with T-Mobile in the wake of the iPhone's launch on that carrier. According to The Wall Street Journal, CIRP's estimate is based on a survey of 500 phone activations occurring between April and June, with about 75 of those phone activations being on T-Mobile.

Even when the carrier didn't officially offer the iPhone, T-Mobile was somewhat reliant on Apple's handset. As many as one-in-five of T-Mobile's customers were using unlocked versions of the iPhone on the carrier's network. A survey of T-Mobile's customers found that, among those planning to change devices in the coming year, fully 28 percent planned to upgrade to an iPhone.

Following the device's launch in April, T-Mobile touted a "gangbusters" first day of sales, and there were reports of customers lining up outside of T-Mobile stores to get their hands on the iPhone 5. In the first month after launch, T-Mobile reported selling more than half a million iPhones.

If T-Mobile manages to slow, stop, or reverse customer migration, it would signal increased competition in the wireless service segment. So far, T-Mobile's competitors have continually benefited from the carrier's struggles, adding those customers that T-Mobile regularly shed. The addition of the iPhone, though, as well as novel mobile plan pricing structures, have given the fourth-largest carrier a somewhat better chance to compete against its much larger competitors.