T-Mobile CEO Legere promises more Apple products

T-Mobile US (NYSE:TMUS) CEO John Legere noted multiple times during the company's second-quarter earnings conference call that the introduction of Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone was not the dominant factor in the carrier's return to postpaid growth in the quarter. Yet, for all the downplaying of the iPhone's importance, he's still pretty excited about the iPhone and promised more Apple products to come.

t-mobile CEO John Legere


"I think there's a whole array of Apple products that we look forward to carrying," he told AllThingsD. "We will expand what we offer from them." That could mean the iPad and potentially other Apple gadgets, such as a rumor smart watch, down the road. T-Mobile is the only Tier 1 carrier that does not offer the iPad.

T-Mobile said 21 percent of the carrier's 4.3 million smartphone sales in the quarter, or 903,000, were iPhones. "I think it's a healthy percentage," Legere told AllThingsD. While he praised the carrier's relationship with Apple on the call, company executives also noted T-Mobile sold 600,000 units of Samsung Electronics' Galaxy S4 in the quarter.

AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T) said it sold more iPhones in the second quarter than it sold in the year-ago quarter (3.7 million), but declined to provide precise iPhone sales figures for the period. Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ) activated around 3.9 million iPhones in the quarter and Sprint (NYSE:S) activated 1.4 million iPhones in the quarter.

T-Mobile CMO Mike Sievert told AllThingsD that 700,000 customers have signed up for carrier's Jump handset the program since it was announced last month. "We are rapidly on the march to one million," Sievert said. AT&T and Verizon have announced similar programs, though both Legere and Sievert have repeatedly said that the programs from AT&T and Verizon essentially force customers to pay more than they would under T-Mobile's plans.

With T-Mobile's Jump program, customers can enroll by upgrading to a new phone, financing it through the T-Mobile EIP (equipment installment plan) and then paying $10 per month per phone. The $10 fee lets customers upgrade their phone twice every year after the initial six-month enrollment period has expired. T-Mobile said the $10 fee not only pays for the enrollment in the Jump program but also is an insurance plan that covers damaged or lost phones. T-Mobile emphasized that the insurance program alone is $8 per month, so enrolling in Jump is just an additional $2 per month.

Legere has cut an iconoclastic path since taking over as T-Mobile's CEO last fall. A profile of him in CNET reveals a portrait of an executive who used to be more staid and polished earlier in his career but has taken on a more aggressive tone and style recently. He has rankled his peers, most notably at AT&T, but industry executives and observers still respect him a great deal.

"I liked to say I helped move his career forward," Sprint CEO Hesse said in an interview with CNET. Legere, who worked under Hesse when they were both at AT&T earlier in their careers, was a strong performer, according to Hesse.

"He's a CEO who is going to stir things up," CTIA President Steve Largent said of Legere. "That's a good thing."

For more:
- see this AllThingsD article
- see this CNET article

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