MaryLou: T-Mobile’s retreat


News T-Mobile has all but withdrawn from Phones 4U and Carphone Warehouse makes curious reading, but ties in with its potential sale.

After all, why shell out for the acquisition of new customers when the books are soon to be closing? Simplistically, T-Mobile’s books should be as tidy as possible for a new owner.

Initially, it would appear the move is a blow to independent retailers – customers walking away from stores in a huff because they can’t get T-Mobile. But what kind of customers does T-Mobile really attract? Certainly, except for a couple of Android handsets, T-Mobile headline handset exclusives hardly come thick and fast.

And would its withdrawal from a thriving part of mobile retail really bother a would-be suitor?

Perhaps its absence could be useful, if its brand is to be removed from the high street anyway and customers are kind of used to it already.

What should dealers make of it? It could be a chance for them to pick up some slack. More likely, however, a network clamping down on acquisition costs will pull out of indirect independent retail also.

In the past, when T-Mobile has traditionally blown its budget by October, dealers have regretted its profligancy early in the year too.