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T-Mobile blames lack of iPhone for poor US sales

Sam Abuelsamid

Among the four national mobile phone carriers in the United States, T-Mobile is clearly the laggard in terms of subscriber numbers. This comes despite low prices and highly-regarded customer service. Rene Obermann, CEO of Deutsche Telekom, T-Mobile USA's parent company, lays the blame squarely on the lack of an iPhone to sell.

The U.S. remains one of the few major markets with a single iPhone carrier, and T-Mobile isn't it. In the third quarter of this year, T-Mobile USA gained just 137,000 new customers. Most of those went for prepaid service rather than the smartphones.

T-Mobile has no shortage of good smartphones with a wide array Android devices available. Despite this, growth for the carrier has been slow to non-existent while Verizon has had tremendous success with Android phones. Of course, AT&T has the iPhone.

It's probable that T-Mobile would see an influx of new business if it had the Apple superphone to sell, but the real problem with T-Mobile isn't selection, it's the network. T-Mobile has made strides with its HSPA+ rollout, but it still has too many voice dead zones, making it an even worse choice than AT&T for many users. Perhaps Mr. Oberman should invest more in solidifying his company's voice coverage and less time complaining about what it doesn't have.

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