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T-Mobile Sells 5.6 Million Smartphones In Q3

Bellevue, Wash. — T-Mobile sold 5.6 million branded postpaid and prepaid smartphones in its fiscal third quarter, up from 2.3 million in the year-ago quarter and up from the second quarter’s 4.3 million, T-Mobile said in announcing its third-quarter financial results.

iPhones accounted for only 15 percent of T-Mobile-brand smartphone sales in the quarter, but the percentage could have been higher if more iPhones had  been available at the phone’s launch time, said chief marketing officer Mike Sievert.

T-Mobile’s smartphone sales exceeded those of Sprint in the quarter but were lower than those of Verizon and AT&T.

At T-Mobile, smartphone sales accounted for 88 percent of handsets sold and 98 percent of handset revenues in the quarter, up from 86 percent of units sold in the second quarter. The figures are also up from the third quarter of 2012, when 77 percent of handsets sold and 94 percent of handset revenues came from smartphones.

Year-over-year increases in handset revenues were driven part by growth in handset sales and continued growth in the share of higher priced smartphones sold, particularly the iPhone 5, Galaxy S4, and the initial launch of the iPhone 5s and 5c, the carrier said. Handset revenues also gained because a higher proportion of subscribers are choosing Simple Choice plans for which T-Mobile does not discount handset prices, the carrier said.

Equipment revenues for the third quarter hit $1.5 billion, up from $1.4 billion in the second quarter and up from $554 million in the third quarter of 2012.

At AT&T, smartphone sales in the quarter hit 6.7 million, up from the year-ago 4.7 million but down sequentially from the second quarter’s 6.8 million. iPhone sales weren’t broken out.

For its part, Verizon previously said it sold 7.6 million retail postpaid smartphones in the quarter, up from the second quarter’s 7.5 million and up 12.5 percent compared to the year-ago period. Of the smartphones activated, about 51 percent were iPhones despite supply constraints at the end of September. The number of iPhones activated hit 3.88 million, up from the second quarter’s 3.83 million and the year-ago 3.1 million. iPhones accounted for 43 percent of Verizon’s smartphone sales in the second quarter.

During the quarter, Sprint sold almost 5 million smartphones, nearly 1.4 million of which were iPhones. The iPhone count is down from the year-ago 1.5 million.