US Insights

"Un-carrier" T-Mobile scores a win

Tech // Mobile 09.30.2013

Dominic Sunnebo

Global Consumer Insight Director, Kantar Worl…

  • Contact Us


    Contact Us


    From *

    Message *

  • Download chart
  • Close


    To *

    From *

    Message *

  • 13.2% T-Mobile share of quarterly smartphone sales, its highest in a year
  • 1.1% T-Mobile quarter-over-quarter growth, reversing a trend of decline

iOS sales, savvy discounting boost T-Mobile to its highest share of US smartphone sales in a year

T-Mobile's share of US smartphone sales has reached its highest point yet for the past year, hitting 13.2% for the quarter ending August 2013, according to data released by Kantar Worldpanel ComTech. The underdog carrier also realized quarter-over-quarter growth of 1.1 percentage points, reversing a previous trend of decline.

The sales growth has been spurred by strong iOS sales and strategic discounting. When iOS first debuted on T-Mobile in mid-April 2013, the majority of sales came from consumers upgrading from a featurephone to their first smartphone. However, looking at consumers who purchased an iPhone during the quarter ending with August, 56% came from another smartphone, including 38.5% from an Android device.

For the three-month period ending in August, 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 both debuted at $99.99 up front, $100 less than other major carriers with a two-year contract. In August, both of these phones were offered at $0 down and saw resulting sales increases.

These discounts may have been in response to similar payment programs offered by AT&T and Verizon which debuted at the end of July and August, respectively. With these carriers once again on a level playing field, T-Mobile's ability to continue its upward trajectory will be telling.

Little movement was seen among the other operating systems in the market. In smartphone sales, Android retained its lead for the latest quarter, with a 55.1% sales share of the smartphone market; iOS followed with 39.3% sale share, an increase of 5.4% versus the same period a year ago.

Source: Kantar Worldpanel

Editor's Notes

These data are 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 US 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.

Journalists, to interview Dominic Sunnebo, contact us.

Latest Stories

Without trying to be a Scrooge, Kantar Retail finds a lack of innovation and excitement for the holidays this year

48% often buy things they don’t really need, versus 34% of straight consumers

When it comes to flu, Americans prefer over-the-counter meds to home remedies

Ignoring LGBTQ consumers may be costing marketers twice as much as they think

Half of Americans who care for adult relatives cite some degree of depression

Email Alerts

Be the first to find out about our latest reports.

Log in to change email preferences


Related Content

Latest quarterly sales data confirm the current market duopoly is far from over
View more

From June through August, 47% of smartphones sold in the US were linked to installment plans
View more

Young-adult iPhone users check them an average 123 times daily
View more

Nearly one-third of US, urban Chinese iPhone users still own models that are at least 2 years old
View more