If you’ve been following the doings of T-Mobile lately, you’ll know that it is a fast-moving company in a field of giant sloths. The third largest wireless service communications provider in the United States, with 71.5 million subscribers as of Q4 2016 has done it again. Word is out that it has already started shipping out units of the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus smartphones from Samsung to its subscribers who preordered the devices.
We knew T-Mobile would be the first one out of the gate, but it’s great to know that they’re already ahead of schedule. The original shipping date was April 19, but as of Good Friday morning, several subscribers started receiving notifications that their product has been shipped – that’s a full five days before the committed date, and a full week ahead of the rest of the US getting its Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus smartphones.
It’s a smart move by T-Mobile to work out such a deal with Samsung Electronics. Not only could it potentially increase their subscriber base, but the fact that T-Mobile will be the first carrier in the United States to implement Gigabit LTE technology – the super-fast Internet connectivity that the Samsung Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus support – means that users might be convinced to switch from other services.
T-Mobile’s subscriber base is less than half of market leader Verizon Wireless, but initiatives like this could soon see them closing the gap in the extremely aggressive wireless carrier market in the US.
Smartphone penetration in the United States is currently at about 81 percent of all mobile phone owners, as of December 2016 figures published by comScore.
Interestingly, comScore’s data shows that smartphone penetration was only 6 percent when the first iPhone was unleashed on the public. That means it’s grown by nearly 14X since that time. Much of that volume belongs to Android devices such as the smartphones that Samsung makes, of course, but iPhone was the definitive tipping point, as you can see from penetration growth after 2007.
That’s the reason the US is a tough market for smartphones, and that is also the reason why this is such a big deal for T-Mobile: to be able to be the first to put a much-awaited device into the hands of its users before anyone else.
Of course, as Android Headlines points out, shipping delays over the Easter holidays and ‘inclement weather’ might see some subscribers getting their phones a little later, but the fact that many of them have received an email saying their Galaxy S8 has already shipped should be enough to make them happy until the actual device arrives.
The important thing is, T-Mobile is proactive about new devices and new technologies – something that will give them an edge over Verizon and AT&T in the long run.
Here’s a sample of one of those notifications, as published on Android Headlines:
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