A new report has predicted T-Mobile’s first quarter figures will dominate those of the competition, even as Verizon prepares to share its report tomorrow morning.
According to the Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP) release, the Un-carrier is on track to post the greatest gains in the first quarter thanks to good customer retention and “much greater switching from other carriers.”
CIRP’s analysis was based on a survey of 500 U.S. subjects who activated a new or used phone in the period from January to March 2016. Researchers found 42 percent of new T-Mobile customers during the quarter came from rival carriers, while the Un-carrier lost 18 percent of its base to competitors. Six percent of T-Mobile’s new phone activations during the period came from customers getting their first phone.
By comparison, Verizon and AT&T attracted just 14 percent and 10 percent of their new customers, respectively, from the competition. Sprint’s switcher appeal was the closest to T-Mobile’s at 30 percent, but the carrier lost nearly as many customers to other carriers as it gained.
“Once again, T-Mobile showed it can attract significant numbers of new customers, while retaining its current ones,” CIRP Partner and Co-Founder of CIRP Josh Lowitz said. “It attracted new customers from other carriers at an astonishing rate, attracting another 42 percent of their base of existing customers who activated a phone in the quarter.”
“Sprint also gained a significant percentage of customers relative to its base, but lost almost as many,” Lowitz continued. “AT&T and Verizon saw existing customer losses slightly exceed gains, and only with the addition of first time phone buyers, did they grow slightly.”
The CIRP report comes on the heels of a research note from analysts at Wells Fargo Securities, who also predicted T-Mobile will outstrip competitor gains for the first quarter.
According to Wells Fargo analysts, T-Mobile is expected to report around 1.4 million net additions in the quarter and will likely be the only major U.S. carrier to report postpaid net handset additions.
If the prediction holds true, it would mark the twelfth consecutive quarter the Un-carrier has generated more than 1 million net customer additions. Though it did not set individual quarterly goals, T-Mobile said in its 2016 guidance it is aiming to pull in 2.4 million to 3.4 million postpaid net additions this year.
The Wells Fargo analysis, however, drew a cryptic one-word response from Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure, who simply tweeted “Hmm??”
Claure’s remark, which appeared to be skeptical of the report, has led some to speculate Sprint may be positioned for positive net additions after all.
Onlookers won’t have long to wait to find out if the reports are accurate.
Verizon will release its earnings report tomorrow morning, with AT&T following suit next week on April 26. Sprint will give its own report on May 3. T-Mobile has not yet set a date for its report.