Tuesday, January 11, 2011

An open letter to TMO executives


Its a difficult question to answer.  Most of the time.  Usually, its because we all know the answer, but the person answering just doesn't know how to say it.
And I suspect that this is why TMO has not ever commented on the concerns of power users.

Or simply, T-Mobile just doesnt get it.

As most of you know, I am now 99% sure that I will leave TMO this year.  Its a sad, and angry moment.  Sad because I have been with TMO since the Voice Stream days.  Its going on 10 years.
Angry because I am now forced to break that relationship, pay a lot more money, and switch my 5 lines of service to Verizon.  And of course, other will follow...

Its been a long time coming.  Those of you who follow on Twitter have seen the rants since last year about why TMO cant release a device that is 4.3", Android and in the super phone category.
It started around spring last year after the announcement of the EVO.  Friends of mine pointed me to the upcoming release of the G2.  I thought that this may be the redemption.  A worthy successor to the original.
Turns out, I, and many others were wrong.  The G2 was a huge disapointment.  First with the specs, then with the lock down, non root mentality, which was worthless as it was rooted anyway.
Ahhh, but there is hope my friends said... There is the MT4G coming... Great!  I thought...  Maybe that one will be worthy... 4.3", super phone, worthy successor of the MT3G...
Again... Huge disappointment.
And then there is the Vibrant.  Great phone, but still 4", and of course, saddled with the slow updates from Samsung.
Then there was CES...  There is hope I thought.
And TMO released..... the Cliq2... Wow... Another mediocre, 3.8" phone.

For those of you reading this far, you must understand that this is written from the point of view of a power user.  I have 5 lines, and most of my 10 yr TMO stay I have paid dearly for phones and service.  It wasnt until TMO went with the EMP plans that I can say my plan is affordable.  Just since the G1, I have purchased 10 Android smartphones, about 12 feature texting phones for my other lines, all at FULL price.
In that same period, most TMO users have purchased about 1 phone per line, under contract.  This is the kind of user I am.

And sadly, TMO has finally convinced me that T-Mobile does not want, or care about users like me.

I have waited for over a year for TMO to convince me otherwise, while I watch other power users leave TMO for the same reason...  My friend @breakthecycle2 being a good example.  My twitter stream in the last few days is filled with about 50 lines of service that are fed up also and willing to leave in the next couple of months.

CES was the straw that broke the camels back.  Even ATT announced 3 super phones, 4", 4.3", dual cores, even a 4.5" Samsung.  VZW also went heavy, with Bionic, Thunderbolt, Revolution, and the i520.  T-Mobile went with 4G speeds and the Cliq2.  Im still laughing about that... The Cliq 2.  Im sure its a great phone.  But its a great phone for some soccer mom on a 2 yr contract.  What about users like me?

Want to see what the reception of the Cliq2 has been?  Go look at the forums on TMO.  Lots of love there huh?

Half the problem is of course that I love TMO and the service that they provide for me at an affordable price.  Maybe if I didnt care it would be easier... Just shut up and leave for another carrier.

So, dear T-Mobile... WHY?

Why cant you keep your "value", and "family", and "affordable", and yet give your power users one or 2 truly leading edge, high end, 4.3"+ devices?
Verizon seems to do it right the other way around.  They seem to cater to the high end, while keeping an extensive line up of value, cheap android smartphones.
So why cant you do the opposite?  Cater to the value, family line and still have a CHOICE for your power users?

I know the Optimus 2X is coming to TMO, but basically, here we go again, with another 4" device...  Yes, dual core, etc, but really... Another 4" device.  One.  I have 4 to choose from on Verizon.  All with WAY better specs...

People tell me to wait... Wait some more... Maybe TMO will have one...

I have been waiting since the EVO was announced.  How much longer do I have to wait.

The wait is almost over.

But I would still like an answer.



  1. Wow man, well said, but I doubt I will leave, all in good time my friend. All in good time.


  2. Well, I dont WANT to leave either... But they are sure forcing my hand. I just have lost hope that we will see a Bionic, or Thunderbolt or similar on TMO...

  3. I'd just like to mention that we still have two more major conferences left before June that T-Mobile traditionally announces their higher end phones. The Mobile World Congress (in February), and the CTIA Wireless convention (in late March).

    I'm pretty sure that T-Mobile will announce the "superphone" you desire at either MWC or CTIA.

  4. Don't forget that Samsung and Motorola typically announce variants of phones on multiple carriers. the Infuse 4G is likely to have a T-Mobile variant that will be announced at MWC. The Atrix may also have one on T-Mobile. Or even, the international variant of the Atrix launching in Europe may offer support for T-Mobile's HSPA+ network.

    Finally, Sony Ericsson's Xperia arc may be coming to T-Mobile, since the Xperia X10 came to AT&T and was a rather large flop there.

    Just wait and see. Don't forget that you always have the option of purchasing a phone ANYWHERE and using it with T-Mobile. As long as it is GSM, it will work. If you are a little more careful, you may find a gem of a phone with support for T-Mobile's 4G network.

  5. Well, I have been waiting for over a year on hopes thatt "maybe" we get a super phone. The optimus 2x will not cut it. Tmo had a golden chance to get three desire hd. Bottom line is tmo wants to be viewed as the value carrier. They dont care about users like me

  6. If the rumors hold true, this phone[1] will be announced for T-Mobile at MWC.

    [1]: http://www.mobilecrunch.com/2011/01/11/is-this-the-samsung-galaxy-s2/

  7. Possibly. But what about the Vibrant plus? They are going to announce the vibrant plus soon, AND the GalaxyS 2? Doesnt make any sense. Even for TMobile.
    Problem is that once again the damage is done. All the blogs are still talking about the ATT/VZW phones, and ANY TMO release now, will just be another phone that barely compares.
    Perception is everything in this business...
    And TMO has always given the perception that they are the "budget", "value" and basically cheap of the 4, with little to poor coverage.
    Only thing they have going is better customer service, and low prices. But then you get what you pay for...

  8. Hi Lou,

    Foremost, I wanted to thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts and feelings about T-Mobile. I’ve shared your blog with our leadership team so that they will be aware of your feedback. I realize that you have been a fan of T-Mobile for years, which is why it is especially disappointing to read that you are considering another carrier.

    You are correct that T-Mobile prides itself on offering affordable options for devices and services. These days, people are more conscientious about their spending than ever before and providing a great value helps T-Mobile remain competitive in the marketplace. That said, the company does have a tradition of also offering innovative devices that appeal to enthusiasts, such as yourself, who constantly seek out the latest hardware.

    While other carriers focused on new devices at CES, T-Mobile chose to highlight the significant investments we’ve made to our network. Ultimately, our network will be the backbone for whatever device you select and we are proud of the experience we are now able to deliver. At CES, T-Mobile also announced plans to introduce more than 25 4G phones in 2011. That is a lot of choice coming your way and some pretty good odds that some high end devices are just around the corner.

    While my note may not change your perspective, I did want to post a response to let you know we do value you as a customer and as a fan. I sincerely hope that you will reconsider and choose to Stick Together with us.

    Best regards,

    Dan Anderson
    Social Media Manager
    T-Mobile Corporate Communications

  9. The problem I see with your statement is TMO's definition of high end differs a lot from mine. You think MT4G is high end. I say its 3.8" so no its not...
    Hopefully you will announce something by the spring... I cant wait much longer.
    Its sad that I have had to go to Nexus One and now Nexus S in order to almost get what I want...

  10. You are going to like this then.... The Huawei IDEOS X6 has passed through the FCC check and is noted with AWS bands[1]. The IDEOS X6 has a 4.1-inch WVGA (800×480) capacitive touchscreen, a 5 MP camera with 720p HD video recording, Wi-Fi, GPS, a HDMI port, a microSD card slot, and Dolby Mobile surround sound. It’s powered by a 1 GHz processor. Since T-Mobile has indeed carried Huawei phones before (always rebranded as T-Mobile brand phones), you can bet it won't be called the IDEOS X6. It also helps they are the only AWS band owner that uses it for UMTS nationwide. However, even if T-Mobile doesn't carry it in their stores, you can grab one once it is up for sale (probably after MWC). And this is only the beginning!

    [1]: http://www.phonescoop.com/news/item.php?n=7329

  11. Also, Sony Ericsson is hosting a press conference[1] involving some new Xperia phones. So we may see a pleasant surprise coming to T-Mobile USA in that press conference.

    [1]: http://www.eurodroid.com/2010/12/sony-ericsson-confirms-new-xperia-products-for-mobile-world-congress-2011/

  12. Huawei? really? I wouldnt buy a Huawei phone if it was 5 inches...lol
    And yes the Sone phones MAY come, and other MAY come...
    You know I had your kind of hope since the EVO was announced last year. That was 12 months ago...
    I am tired..
    I am not leaving yet. The LTE phones are not released yet. But if things dont change by the time they are, it will be difficult to keep waiting...
    You know, Blackberry just announced the Torch 2 for release in Q3... Why cant TMO announce some hot superphones now? And just say that they are coming?

  13. By the way, with the Huawei leak, we are down to 19 more devices... And still nothing that would make me stay...

  14. I don't remember RIM announcing a Torch 2. I remember the leak of the Torch 2, but no announcement from RIM about it. What's wrong with Huawei anyway? I've used a few of their devices and they aren't bad. And the IDEOS line are all Google Experience phones, having the "with Google" stamp on it.

    And we're down to 24, not 19. T-Mobile announced at CES that they would be bringing 25 MORE 4G devices over the course of 2011.

  15. gslate, optimus 2x, cliq2, huawei, streak 7, vibrant plus...we are down to 19

  16. Also, the Dell Venue, the Android, keyboard-less version of the WP7 Dell Venue Pro, is also coming to T-Mobile. That one boasts a 4.1-inch WVGA (800×480) capacitive AMOLED touchscreen with Gorilla Glass, an 8 MP camera with 720p HD video recording, Wi-Fi, GPS, and a microSD card slot.

  17. dude..lol what is so hard about 4.3? Lol

  18. Well, it isn't easy to produce LCD and AMOLED screens because of the extreme conditions required to make them. Factories have to be ridiculously clean because the slightest contamination can make the whole screen worthless. Nowadays, the only companies really producing screens for mobile devices that are larger than 4" are Samsung and LG.

  19. apparently, att and vzw have no issues getting 4.3"monster phones...lol

  20. Well, you have to remember that AT&T is desperate, since the iPhone 4 is no longer exclusive to AT&T. As for Verizon, it only had ONE phone with a screen larger than 4" until they announced the LTE phones at CES, so obviously Verizon didn't have an easy time either. Sprint has only ONE superphone, the EVO 4G. We already know of at least two T-Mobile phones that will have screens larger than 4". In the coming days, probably more information will show up that will show that more superphones are coming to T-Mobile.

  21. I understand all this. I have been around...lol But you have to understand that 1: you will find no stronger supporter of TMO in the last few years than me. And 2: I am TIRED of "probably" and "maybe" and "might" and stuff like that. I have been waiting for over a year.
    That and a Huawei 4.1" does not count. PLEASE TMO, all I ask for is a 4.3"+ device. Announce it before LTE phones on VZW are relased or Im outta there. Its simple.

  22. Well, here you go! A bona fide HTC 4.3" Android superphone with a qHD display[1]! I'm sure you are ecstatic now...

    [1]: http://www.tmonews.com/2011/02/the-htc-pyramid-will-be-a-t-mobile-4-3-dual-core-android-phone/

  23. I was ecstatic when I knew about it... Quite a few days ago... ;-) I take full credit for this phone... HAHAHA

  24. I'm ecstatic too! So far, I'm thinking this is probably going to use the Desire HD body shell, like the AT&T Inspire 4G does. It'll just be many times more powerful than ANY OTHER phone on the market! Awesome sauce, T-Mobile!

  25. Seems like all they have to do is to sell you with the screen size. The tmobile rep made perfect sense. In this day in age people aren't really wanting to spend on high end phone. So why focus on it for a slim few of people that want 4.3 screens. Dual cores coming..... FFC is coming and here. Only thing I've seen you mention is 4.3 screen and the fact you want to spend 1000 dollars on your phone so that its rare and no one will realluy have it. Anyways I like the fact that they keep it affordable, id say 400+ dollars is high end for a phone.... get a tab if you want huge screen. 4.3 doesn't even really fit well anywhere lol. Barely to your pocket. Now I am a users that is gonna NOT buy 4.3 screens so they will lose sales from these type of customers. The ones that want their phone to fit somewhere and be able to do things. Not have to hold this machine constantly. I have a tablet, I don't take it in the stores with me... why? Because I'm a man and don't carry purses or fanny packs lol. My point is I'm sure they've had unlimited time to come with the near perfect screen size and I think its 3.7 - 4.0. I'm sure the masterminds that brought you the 4.0 then up to the tablet size will tell you this

  26. But different phones for different folks... Sprint and TMO have similar footprints, number of subscribers, etc etc... TMO sold around 1 million Vibrants, Sprint around 3 million EVOs... Why is that?? You would be surprised at how many people would buy a 4.3" super phone....
    Its not for everyone. Neither is a tablet...
    But I want the CHOICE...

  27. And by the way, I already have a Tab... LOLOL