The quarterly numbers are out from all the major wireless networks. As much as carriers complain about the cost to them of carrying the Apple iPhone, it may be more expensive not to carry it. At least in these early quarters. Later on it may not be so bad.
This week we have seen the numbers from T-Mobile and US Cellular and they have both lost a significant number of customers to carriers who carry the iPhone.
AT&T Mobility was feared to have the biggest risk when other carriers started to carry the iPhone, however they continue to be strongest in the iPhone arena.
Verizon Wireless was supposed to do very strong iPhone business, and while it has been healthy, it is not as strong as we expected.
Sprint Nextel was similar to Verizon Wireless, but the iPhone sales were even less.
However they have grown last quarter. Not so with both T-Mobile and US Cellular who do not sell the iPhone.
US Cellular has seen significant losses. T-Mobile has seen significant losses.
They have a plan to roll out the next generation of their wireless data services and hope that will make up for no iPhone.
It is more complicated than that, but I hope they are right.
Remember this marketplace is flexible. When they are ready, they can sell the iPhone and can make up for those losses. At this stage in both businesses it may actually be much smarter and cost effective to not jump into the iPhone space.
Remember customer losses cost money, but so do customers who buy the iPhone. Just ask the others who are in that part of the game.
Also. This is the first quarter or two of the iPhone on other networks.
So the movement away from US Cellular and T-Mobile may only last a short while. Then things should hopefully stabilize for them.
We are still in the first four years since the introduction of the iPhone. As the next few years pass, and everyone buys a Smartphone, and more smart phones enter the market, much of the sizzle may come off the Apple iPhone. It may still be very popular, but may not be what everyone focuses on. After all, just look at the various Google Android devices which outsell the iPhone already.
So while it is painful for US Cellular and T-Mobile to take this hit, it may only be a short term problem.
They do need to update their network and recreate their brand and welcome the Smartphone revolution. If they can do both of those they can succeed. If they cannot, they could be in trouble.
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Please attribute to Jeff Kagan, Tech Analyst with www.jeffKAGAN.com
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Jeff KAGAN| Tech Analyst www.jeffKAGAN.com
Analyst sharing perspective on the changing industry for 25 years
~ Also Columnist, Author, Consultant, Speaker
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Contact InformationJeff Kagan
Title: Tech Analyst ~ Columnist ~ Industry Analyst ~ Wireless Analyst ~ Telecom Industry Analyst
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