T-Mobile Crows About First Day iPhone 5 Sales, But The Carrier’s Future Is Still Unclear

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T-Mobile finally began selling the iPhone 5 earlier today, and it seems as though all that pent-up consumer tension has resulted in some promising sales for the carrier.

“Today has been gangbusters for T-Mobile,” CMO Mike Sievert noted to AllThingsD earlier today. Naturally, Sievert wouldn’t discuss just how many iPhones were moved during the course of the day, but he did point out that customers had lined up at “nearly all” of the carrier’s retail outlets.

By now the iPhone 5 is a known quantity so most stores didn’t see the sort of crazy volume that usually goes with an iPhone going on sale — for what it’s worth, our intern Michael only noticed a handful of people waiting in line at a T-Mobile store near our office in New York’s Lower East Side — but it’s heartening to see those customers finally getting a chance to pick up an iPhone without having to switch providers.

This moment has been a long time coming for T-Mobile. For months upon months the carrier bore the ignominious distinction of being the only major wireless provider in the U.S. without access to Apple’s tiny mobile juggernaut. The fact that even prepaid providers like Cricket and Virgin Mobile got to offer the iPhone ahead of T-Mobile was surely cause for some consternation, but the ability to stock iPhones and a dramatic shift in how it handles its rate plans could mean big things for T-Mobile in the months to come.

At least that’s what the company is surely hoping, especially since it posted some disappointing figures in its most recent earnings release — total revenue dipped 5.2 percent year-over-year, while operating income sunk some 25 percent over the same amount of time. Those figures were just released in late February, so it’ll be a while yet before we see what sort of impact the iPhone actually has on T-Mobile’s fortunes.

In the meantime, T-Mobile’s brass has no shortage of other things to concern themselves with. Take the possibility of not one, but two mergers for instance — T-Mo parent company Deutsche Telekom just recently sweetened its offer to MetroPCS shareholders in a bid to make the notion of T-Mobile/MetroPCS tie-up more palatable, and Bloomberg revealed earlier today that Dish Network chairman casually brought up the idea of a potential T-Mobile/Dish merger with Deutsche Telekom.