After reporting their Q3 earnings numbers earlier this week, which came out to be the best quarter that T-Mobile has ever had. Adding nearly two and a half million new customers in that three month period. Which for a company that was losing nearly a million about a year and a half ago, that’s pretty good for them. This makes it nearly 6 quarters of 1 million or more customers being added to the carrier. However, T-Mobile is warning that the fourth quarter might be a big slower than first expected. Which is a bit surprising, as the holidays are all in the fourth quarter and that’s when most people are buying phones. Not to mention all the phones that have come out in October and beginning of November.
“It is the nature of any customer acquisition-driven business that the faster you grow the more pressure it will put on profitability. You can’t lose sight of the underlying economics,” said Craig Moffett, analyst at MoffettNathanson.
While T-Mobile is growing pretty fast right now. They can’t keep that up forever. I know it may seem like they can, because well Verizon and AT&T have been doing this for years. But they are now beginning to struggle, and that is why we are seeing them pushing tablets more than ever before. In fact, more than half of Verizon’s new customers were tablets. Well additions, I guess is the proper term. T-Mobile’s ARPU has also gone up after the third quarter, which is great for profitability, as that means more money per user is coming into the company.
“We are very optimistic about the increase in ARPU going into next year,” Chief Financial Officer Braxton Carter told investors. “We saw more of a promotional impact on Q4 than Q3,” he said.
We’ll have to wait and see what T-Mobile announces at CES in January this year.