Verizon Wireless edged out T-Mobile US in terms of postpaid subscriber additions in the second quarter, but relied far more heavily on adding tablet customers to do so. Despite losing feature phone and prepaid customers in the period, Verizon said it remains happy with its mix of customers.
Verizon Wireless made a strong push into equipment installment plans (EIPs) in the second quarter, according to analysts' preview of the carrier's earnings, which will be reported tomorrow. That push mirrors AT&T Mobility's enthusiasm for EIP, though Verizon is likelier going to report stronger postpaid subscriber results for the second quarter than AT&T, according to Evercore ISI.
How did the wireless industry perform in the second quarter of 2015? In this earnings summary, we list results from the wireless industry's carriers, handset makers, equipment suppliers and others.
HTC is aiming to bounce back from a weak launch of its flagship One M9 smartphone by releasing a bevy of mid-range phones in its Desire lineup to U.S. carriers, especially prepaid ones. The hope is that by targeting phones that cost $200 or less without a contract at U.S. consumers, it can regain market share and mindshare while still emphasizing the software and design touches of the M9.
AT&T Mobility reiterated its plans to launch a Wi-Fi calling service this year, as T-Mobile US and Sprint have done, but did not say when it expects the service will go live.
T-Mobile US said that its "porting ratio" with Verizon Wireless--essentially the number of customers switching between the two carriers--dropped from 1.6 in the first quarter to 1.5 in the second quarter. That decline during the second quarter is notable considering in May T-Mobile launched its "Never Settle Trial," wherein T-Mobile is offering Verizon customers the opportunity to try T-Mobile's network and service for up to two weeks at no cost.
Verizon's AOL subsidiary is interested in purchasing mobile ad company Millennial Media, according to a report from TechCrunch citing anonymous sources with knowledge of the talks. The move would be noteworthy as it would increase and expand Verizon's advertising technologies following the operator's recent purchase of AOL and the company's programmatic advertising service.
MVNO ROK Mobile added a third carrier partner, likely Verizon Wireless, and announced plans to expand to as many as 10,000 retail locations by the end of 2015 through partnerships with independent dealers.
AT&T Mobility likely added around 500,000 postpaid customers in the second quarter thanks to tablet subscriber additions as Verizon Wireless racked up subscribers with promotional shared data plan pricing, according to analysts at Wells Fargo.
T-Mobile US is not giving up on its quest to get the FCC to expand the amount of spectrum set aside for smaller carriers to bid on in next year's incentive auction of 600 MHz broadcast TV spectrum. FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler has indicated he will vote to reject T-Mobile's petition on the matter, but the carrier continues to lobby the agency ahead of its July 16 vote on the auction rules.