The nation’s fourth-largest carrier continues to experience the side-effects of remaining the sole major U.S. telco without Apple’s popular iPhone. The company this morning reported third-quarter earnings and the results are depressing. It lost 492,000 contract customers, down from the 557,000 loss in the June quarter but also up over the year-ago quarter when it reported loss of 389,000 contracts.

As a result, revenue for the quarter shrank to $4.9 billion, a 6.4 percent decline, while service revenue experienced an 8.7 percent drop…

T-Mobile ended the quarter with 33.3 million customers.

A media release points the blaming finger directly at the iPhone 5 launch, which has caused some customers to defect to rival AT&T, Verizon and Sprint, which all carry the sought-after device.

T-Mobile’s 4G network modernization plan is “well underway”. The company began lighting up first HSPA+ markets in Q3. The speedy, iPhone-friendly 1900MHz HSPA+ service is now available to customers in five major areas: Las Vegas and Kansas City, in addition to Washington D.C., Baltimore and Houston markets.

The company also added Nokia’s Lumia 810, two Windows 8 smartphones and Samsung’s Galaxy Note 2 to its device lineup, upping as well its advertising expenditure to pay for flashy commercials which wrongly promote 3G HSPA+ network as “4G”.

Here’s another one.

The carrier last month announced a merger with MetroPCS in an effort to grab Sprint’s prepaid market share. The combined spectrum holdings of T-Mobile and MetroPCS will enable a deeper LTE network deployment, “with a clear path toward at least 20 by 20 MHz of 4G LTE in many areas of the country”, the carrier maintains.

T-Mobile also launched new unlimited data plans in the quarter and briefly made noise with its Bring Your iPhone campaign in the hope that offering free support to unlockers and 4G Micro and Nano SIM kits would persuade unlocked iPhone owners to sign up for unlimited data.

Advertising-wise, the company went from this…

…to this.

Obviously, none of the above was enough of an incentive to keep folks from defecting to Apple-friendly carriers.

I guess that iPhone 5 response plan didn’t work as planned…

  • Poor T-Mobile, I wanna go with them but their 3G isn’t compatible with iPhone 4.

    • Honestly the biggest problem with going to Tmobile with your iphone right now.

    • franco4785

      What city/ state are you in? Because tmobile is making their network compatible with the iPhone. I’ve seen 3G on my phone and I have tmobile.

    • ghulamsameer

      You can wait a few months at the least. By summer of 2013, all of their 3G should be refarmed to support the iPhone.

  • Bring you iPhone back to an Edge only network now!!!!! What a great selling point TMO??!!! No wonder they are failing.

  • Tmobile may not be perfect by all means but the people they employ versus Verizon and sprint and especially AT&T the people are of a way higher caliber they are better trained, better attitude and seem to be more educated.
    They leave a better impression then all the carriers combined.

  • hspa+ speed can easily hit 24mbps of real speed… idb constantly pointing “moniker” on their “4g” speed is getting old…

    my home speed conection is20 mbps

    i really doubt someone would notice the difference between hspa+ and lte