T-Mobile is the the fourth-largest wireless carrier in the U.S. with 33 million subscribers and annual revenue exceeding $21 billion. The iPhone was already available with AT&T (107 million subscribers) and Verizon (116 million subscribers), but this is a positive development for T-Mobile which is already in talks to acquire MetroPCS with 9 million subscribers. The acquisition will take the number of customers for T-Mobile to around 42 million, close to Sprint Nextel’s 55 million but far behind that of Verizon and AT&T.
How T-Mobile iPhone Plan will Help Apple
Apple is lagging behind and is not updating its phones at the speed other companies like Samsung and HTC are doing. According to analyst Shaw Wu of Sterne Agee, Apple had to tone down the iPhone build plans as demand has been weaker than expected. The reasons for conservative earnings are law suits with Samsung, tough competition in the phone market with some good phones like Samsung S3/S4, HTC and other android phones, problems in the supply chain and strong criticism of iPhone Maps (which the company swapped with Google maps available in previous versions).
According to Wu, this new development will give Apple a boost and help in capping potential customers. It will strengthen the company against Google’s Android, which already is available with T-Mobile. Investor sentiments suggest that the June quarter for Apple would be conservative, so the addition of new prospective customers is a positive sign and could boost the quarter earning. It might outperform the analysts expected forecasts.
Other Mobile Carriers to Follow
With T-Mobile carrying iPhone, expectations are high for more wireless mobile carriers to start carrying iPhone in the future. China mobile, the world’s largest wireless carrier with a subscriber base of 703 million doesn’t carry iPhone. NTT DoCoMo, with over 61 million subscribers, which amount to over half of Japan’s Mobile phone market share doesn’t carry iPhone either. There is great potential for the iPhone. If these companies decide to carry iPhone on their networks in future, it would be a massive boost for Apple as a company and for its investors.
Expectations from Apple for 2013
Expectations are high for the second half of the year. It is expected that Apple will come up with some new products or refreshes. Apple generally launches new phones in the second half of the year. It is expected that Apple will come up with a newer version of the iPhone that will give tough competition to its competitors, especially the recently launched Samsung Galaxy S4. Rumored iPad application development works suggest a new device is soon in the offing. A software upgrade with radical features like easy scroll and touch-less sensitive screens might be added.
Apart from this there is increased anticipation for a low cost iPhone. It might be made of plastic instead of refined aluminum/glass/stainless steel and might have a low resolution screen. Apple is under increasing pressure to cater to developing markets that are dominated by low cost Android phones to cap a huge potential customer base. And the best way to penetrate these markets is by coming up with a low cost, fancy, functional phone. Apple’s software has greater number of applications than its Android rival, which could entice many customers to switch over.
Since Apple symbolizes quality, a sense of brand consciousness and revolutionary technology, many prospective customers would love to carry an iPhone any day.