T-Mobile intensifies 4G marketing push against iPhone

T-Mobile USA is stepping up its marketing efforts to combat Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone and promote its HSPA+ network. The nation's No. 4 carrier is taking direct aim at both Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ) and AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T), which have made the iPhone central to their own marketing campaigns lately.

T-Mobile set up a dedicated website to highlight its HSPA+ smartphones and take a jab at the iPhone, which it notes is a 3G phone. "True story," the carrier states. "Despite the '4,' both Verizon and AT&T iPhones run on 3G networks." The website supplements a national TV and digital media advertising campaign T-Mobile began last fall to promote its HSPA+ network and knock its competitors.

The website also highlights recent speed tests conducted by MSNBC that found T-Mobile's Samsung Galaxy S 4G beat other smartphones in downlink performance, including AT&T's iPhone 4 and Sprint Nextel's (NYSE:S) HTC Evo 4G. Underscoring how much focus T-Mobile is putting on countering the iPhone, T-Mobile CEO Philipp Humm said in January that 10 percent of the company's churn is directly related to the iPhone.  

Humm has pledged to reignite the "challenger" mentality in T-Mobile as part of a comprehensive turnaround strategy, largely based around reducing churn, introducing cheaper smartphones and highlighting the HSPA+ network. So far, however, T-Mobile's marketing appears to have had little effect on the consumer, as it lost 23,000 total net subscribers in the fourth quarter, including 318,000 postpaid subscribers.

Complicating T-Mobile's marketing message is the fact that AT&T has also started referring to its own HSPA+ network as "4G." 

For more:
- see this Engadget post
- see this T-Mobile site

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