For many mobile industry analysts, T-Mobile seemed to be “going the way of the dodo”, but the world’s third-largest mobile-phone service provider now has an ace up its sleeve: the iPhone. No biggie, if you consider that many other carriers offer iPhones or support iPhones with their contracts, but a big deal if you think about the “how.”
T-Mobile reported losing almost half a million postpaid subscribers in the third quarter, and in the US it was losing to Verizon Wireless and AT&T. Then, in October, the company announced that it plans to merge with MetroPCS. But come parent-company Deutsche Telekom’s Capital Markets Day, December 6, and things have changed: T-Mobile CEO John Legere promised that his company would “disrupt the industry” in 2013. A big promise, which could hold strong ground.
When John Legere took over as CEO this September, he announced that in 2013, T-Mobile will sell Apple products. This announcement was targeted more at the US market, as Germany was already supplied with Apple devices, including both iPhones and iPads, for both business and private customers. But the company needs the iPhone in the US to be able to compete:
“A certain number of customers wouldn’t come to the store if we didn’t have the iPhone,” Legere, explained in a media statement. “It had just a definite churn impact, and we worked very, very hard on a deal that makes sense for us.”
To differentiate itself from competitors, T-Mobile is moving to 100% Value Plans, previously selected by about 80% of the company’s customers, featuring flexible pricing for unlimited data and available with affordable monthly payments on any of T-Mobile’s phones and mobile broadband devices, including the latest 4G smartphones and tablets. It’s the features and flexibility of these plans that are the real disruptive elements. One “for instance” being slipping a T-Mobile SIM Card into an AT&T iPhone 4S and saving something on the order of $50 bucks a month.
Sometimes disruptive innovation is just about offering faster, cheaper, and more flexible products and services. And, the sexy Naughty or Nice holiday promotion doesn’t hurt things either.