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T-Mobile sees growth in sales on strength of iOS in the US

30/09/2013

T-Mobile grew to 13.2% of smartphone sales in the U.S. market in the 3 month period ending August 2013, marking its highest share of sales over the past year, and realized a growth of 1.1% points, reversing an on-going trend of year-on-year decline, according to data released today by Kantar Worldpanel ComTech.

The sales growth comes as a result of strong iOS sales and strategic discounts, based upon analysis by the company.

In smartphone sales, Android has retained its lead for the 3 month period ending August 2013, with a 55.1% sales share of the smartphone market. iOS follows with 39.3% sale share, an increase of 5.4% versus the same period a year ago.

Little movement is seen among the other operating systems in the market. Windows saw 3.0% of sales in the August period, while BlackBerry was down to 1.8% of sales.

Verizon is the top carrier, with a 37.1% share of smartphone sales in the 3 months ending August 2013 (seeing growth of 6.9% points). AT&T maintained second at 21.7%, and Sprint third with 14.6% of smartphone sales.

The data is derived from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech USA’s consumer panel, which is the largest continuous consumer research mobile phone panel of its kind in the world, conducting more than 240,000 interviews per year in the U.S. alone. ComTech tracks mobile phone behavior and the customer journey, including purchasing of phones, mobile phone bills/airtime, and source of purchase and phone usage. This data is exclusively focused on the sales within this 3 month period rather than market share figures. Sales shares exemplify more forward focused trends and should represent the market share for these brands in future.

Kantar Worldpanel ComTech Global Strategic Insight Director, Dominic Sunnebo states, “When iOS first debuted on T-Mobile in mid-April, the majority of sales came from consumers upgrading from a featurephone to their first smartphone. However, looking at those who purchased an iPhone in the August period, 56% of those consumers came from another smartphone, including 38.5% from an Android device.”

For the 3 months ending August 2013, the iPhone 5 remained the top-selling smartphone at T-Mobile, with 17.1% of sales.

Still, the majority of phones sold on T-Mobile run Android, including the Samsung Galaxy series, and the HTC One, which saw deep discounts in August.

As part of T-Mobile’s ‘uncarrier’ strategy, smartphones are being offered at a smaller up-front cost, with the ability to pay off the rest of the phone over the next two years. The HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S4 were debuted for $99.99 up front, $100 less expensive than other major carriers with a 2 year contract. In August, both of these phones were offered at $0 down, and saw sales increase.

Sunnebo continues “The discounts seen in August may have been in response to AT&T and Verizon, which have followed suite with similar programs, debuting at the end of July and August, respectively. With these carriers once again on a level playing field, it will be interesting to see if T-Mobile can continue its upward trajectory.”

The sales growth comes as a result of strong iOS sales and strategic discounts

The sales growth comes as a result of strong iOS sales and strategic discounts

More information

Dominic Sunnebo
Global Consumer Insight Director

Read the previous US ComTech report

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