Could the iPhone 7 be a boon for T-Mobile?
At a Tuesday investor conference, T-Mobile’s Vice President of Investor Relations Nils Paellmann said the Un-carrier has a keen eye trained on the upcoming iPhone 7 launch. The event, he said, could provide T-Mobile with an opening to snag a greater chunk of the wireless market share.
“We always look at these iconic devices as a big opportunity to potentially gain market share, Paellmann said. “We’ve seen in previous cycles that when industry churn goes up that we do well because we tend to be a share taker…So we do look at this as an opportunity.”
Though device upgrades have been slow for carriers recently, Paellmann said buying a new device like the iPhone 7 gives people a good opening to reevaluate their options and decide whether they want to stay with their current carrier or switch.
Paellmann acknowledged the uncertainty around how large the next iPhone launch will be, but said September will mark the two year point since the iPhone 6 launch. That, he said, could help drive some user upgrade decisions.
Those looking to switch might also have an easier time of it this go round.
Paellmann said T-Mobile is planning to boost its retail footprint with an additional 400 stores by the end of this year. The Un-carrier will then have a total of 4,000 stores, he said.
Paellmann on Tuesday also touted T-Mobile’s network expansion in both urban and rural a
“T-Mobile, I think, has always been known for pretty good coverage in the major cities, but where people have historically had some skepticism – maybe well-founded in some instances – was the coverage in let’s say suburban areas and rural areas. We have really made a lot of progress in that area,” Paellmann said. “The network is starting to become a reason for people to come over and then these other benefits.”
According to Paellmann, the acquisition of low band spectrum has been key to T-Mobile’s network improvements. Paellman said the carrier didn’t historically have low band spectrum, but now has low-band assets covering 270 million POPs. Paellmann said 200 million of those POPs have already been deployed, with another 70 million low-band POPs expected to be built in the “near future.”
T-Mobile’s LTE network has also grown, Paellmann said to cover 311 million POPs.