Apple’s iPhone 5 may have prevented nearly half a million customers from jumping ship from T-Mobile. According to data collected by Consumer Intelligence Research Partners, between 300,000 and 400,000 customers supposedly opted to stay with the carrier because the iPhone was finally made available—people that would have otherwise left for a competing operator. The data was based on a small survey of 500 phone activations between April and June—75 of which were on T-Mobile.
When Apple’s handset launched in April this year, T-Mobile CMO Mike Sievert revealed first day sales were “gangbusters,” claiming some stores had lines out the door—in the first thirty days, the carrier managed to sell over 500,000 units. Not bad considering the iPhone 5 had been available on other carriers for many months prior. Even before the carrier did start offering the device, many of its customers used unlocked iPhones—up to 22 percent before launch—and T-Mobile even encouraged people to use Apple’s devices unofficially.
Even with increased Android competition, Apple’s devices remain among the top selling handsets through carriers each year. If CIRP’s estimate is at all accurate—it seem like a ballpark number to us—it just goes to show how persuasive the handset can be, and why a carrier like T-Mobile so desperately wanted the device in the first place.