T-Mobile has spent the last few years aggressively courting new customers by rebranding itself as the “Uncarrier.” It killed contracts, is transforming its bright pink retail stores into banks, and offers to pay customers’ early termination fees for switching to T-Mobile.
This unorthodox strategy worked to some extent, gaining T-Mobile 1.6 million long-term subscribers in the fourth quarter of last year, and earning it a spot on our list of Most Innovative Companies. But playing the long game isn’t cheap–as Amazon can attest. In its Q4 report for 2013, the company’s losses ballooned to $20 million, which is up from $8 million from the same quarter a year earlier. Revenue grew 39% year-over-year to $6.83 billion, though Wall Street was projecting at least $6.95 billion.
T-Mobile CEO John Legere said the losses were expected, however, and that the results show “we have our strategy right.”
Customers are fed up with the old ways and are voting in favor of choice, innovation and doing business with a company that cares about them and is willing to earn their business. For shareholders, we transformed the company into a fierce, growing competitor that is changing the wireless industry and creating significant value.
T-Mobile remains in fourth place behind AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint. It now has 46.7 million customers, a 2% increase from 2012. All that trash talking might be paying off, after all.