T-Mobile US Inc., the last of the major U.S. carriers to start
carrying iPhones, is selling them at a brisk pace, it reported
T-Mobile US, the No. 4 U.S. carrier, said it has sold
half a million iPhones since it started on April 12. That puts its sales
at roughly the same rate as Sprint Nextel Corp., the No. 3 carrier,
which has far more customers.
The company said late last year that
it planned to sell the iPhone, which helped it keep customers in the
first three months of the year. As previously reported, it saw a small
increase in customers under its own brand for the first time in four
years. Analysts believe the customers were holding out for the iPhone.
US's parent Deutsche Telekom AG, discussed the U.S. business as it
reported a 3.5 percent increase in net profit in the first quarter to
564 million euros ($739 million) from 545 million euros in the same
quarter a year ago. Earnings rose in part because the company saw
smaller deductions for the depreciation of its U.S. business.
Telekom completed a merger of T-Mobile USA with MetroPCS Communications
Inc. on April 30, creating the new T-Mobile US Inc. Deutsche Telekom
owns 74 percent of the new company, while the rest went to MetroPCS
T-Mobile USA, which had been losing contract
customers, switched to a new "Un-carrier" approach in March and started
selling phones on installment plans.
Deutsche Telekom AG also said
it had 300 million euros less in accounting-related reductions related
to the merger, which is part of a turnaround effort. As the No. 4 mobile
provider, T-Mobile USA has struggled against bigger competitors.
Otherwise, sales and earnings slipped at Deutsche Telekom.
fell 4.5 percent to 58.7 billion euros, while adjusted operating
earnings - which exclude financial items such as depreciation related to
the merger - declined 4.3 percent to 4.29 billion euros. That still
exceeded the analyst predictions for 4.24 billion euros compiled by
financial information provider FactSet.
At T-Mobile USA, the
company made 5.32 billion euros in operating earnings, down 5.6 percent
in euro terms, as revenue slipped 8 percent to 15.37 billion euros. The
company said service revenue fell as more customers opted for the new
contracts, reducing operating earnings.
Elsewhere, the company
said its subsidiaries in Europe battled a slow economy and increased
regulation. The company's expenditure on capital investments rose some
40 percent to over 3 billion euros as it spent money on acquiring radio
frequencies in the Netherlands.
Deutsche Telekom shares rose 3.4 percent to 9.44 euros in morning trading in Frankfurt.