T-Mobile sold more tablets on iPad Air launch date than the entirety of last quarter

We haven’t received any official numbers on Apple’s launch of the iPad Air last Friday, but today T-Mobile is offering a little bit of insight into how its first iPad launch went. T-Mobile tells AllThingsD that it sold more tablets on iPad Air launch day last Friday than it managed to during the entire last quarter.

The boost in tablet sales on iPad Air launch day could have been helped along by the carrier’s new offer of 200MB of free data with all tablets, including iPads. There was a bit of confusion around the deal and whether or not customers required a paid plan to access the data, but T-Mobile has since clarified that the offer is available to all customers:

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CEO John Legere told AllThingsD that he and his team have been actively trying to reassure customers that free really does mean free. “There was a feeling by a small group of people, especially in social media, that it was a bait and switch,” Legere said. “I was very concerned.”

AT&T also announced somewhat vague numbers for its iPad Air launch yesterday. The carrier said it experienced a 200% increase in iPad activations last Friday compared with the iPad 4 and iPad mini launch. Not exactly a fair comparison given last year’s launch included only a refreshed iPad 4 and a soft launch for cellular models following Apple’s initial launch weekend for the WiFi only models. Last year Apple announced combined first weekend sales of three million units for the iPad mini and fourth generation iPad. Those three million units didn’t include cellular models, however, which Apple and AT&T ended up selling a couple weeks later.

Earlier today T-Mobile reported its Q3 earnings with iPhones sales accounting for just 10% of total smartphone sales a couple weeks into selling the iPhone 5s and 5c. It didn’t provide any specific numbers on tablets.

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  1. phathom - 9 years ago

    Everyone’s been waiting for a iPad on T-Mobile since forever.

  2. tallestskil - 9 years ago

    And yet Android tablets will magically be higher in number sold. Just watch. Just watch.

    • Tim Jr. - 9 years ago

      All from emerging markets buying $79 tablets that get used as video streaming/players. Devs do not make money from those units.. It’s really a different market, but it gets counted.

  3. dmvreds7 - 9 years ago

    It’s somewhat unreal to me that nobody has bothered to take CEO John Legere to task for his half-truths and the mincing of words, in the attempt to dupe people into buying from T-Mobile. Furthermore, you say in your article it’s been cleared up. Ummmm, NO, it certainly has NOT been cleared.

    The truest form of his press release should have said “Free 200MB for you, for life, no strings attached.*****”

    (But it’s actually $10/month for T-Mobile customers, when they bring their own iPad they already paid for. Or $20/month for non-T-Mobile customers, because you have to buy a 500MB plan, to even get the EXTRA 200MB “for free, for life.” Oh, and that’s the only way you can get the 0% down financing, so you might as well just go thru Apple, where you can also get the 64GB or 128GB iPad Air that you ACTUALLY wanted, pay it off EARLY, and have ZERO STRINGS ATTACHED.)

    How is nobody the least bit outraged by this? A classic Bait and Switch that he won’t even admit to, as he’s smiling the whole time, AND touting how many iPad Airs they’ve already sold this quarter.

    Personally, I can’t wait for the Class Action lawsuit to commence.

    • Stephen Hagans - 9 years ago

      I agree. I was duped into buying an iPad Air under this deal and have been fighting with them since Friday morning. I just gave up…. John Legere has not fixed this AT ALL. In fact, he’s made in worse. But yes, I complete share your outrage and frustration with how this whole thing unfolded. I was a new T-Mobile customer and thought this was a really awesome way to attract new customers so i bought in. (even with the hopes of someday possibly transferring over all my devices/cellular plans) but after the way this was handled… no thanks. Very poor leadership by John Legere throughout this mess.

  4. Daniel Gillespie - 9 years ago

    While T-Mobile did have a shaky roll out those who are saying it is a gimmick .. not true. I got my 32GB iPad Air and after much fussing for 3 days, they store finally got clear information on how to fix it. They ended up backing out the line off my account and adding it back as a new line. I created an account on my iPad for ZERO dollars and automatically had 200MG no charge, no fuss, no $10 with a credit and NO credit card

    Works as promised.

  5. exm144 - 9 years ago

    Can someone who is not currently a T-Mobile customer walk in a store, put nothing down, commit to paying $26.25/month for 24 months, then walk out with a 16GB iPad Air w/ a free 200MB/month plan for life? If not, then I’m sorry to say it is a bait and switch. That’s totally how it was described in the press release, news stories, and in the graphic at the iPad Air launch/on Apple’s Web site.

    • dmvreds7 - 9 years ago

      Absolutely agree, and nobody that I have spoken with in real life, or that has been documenting this continuing nightmare online, has had the experience that Daniel is claiming to have had. There are bound to be hiccups in the system, there always are, but what is so disingenuous about this whole ordeal is the continued confusion. You hear one thing from John Legere (also, he flat out disputed what Daniel said above as not even they way HE envisioned what his plan was to be,) something different from Customer Service (I’m using that term pretty lightly here,) and yet another different explanation from an employee in a store! At the very least, they could all get on the same page with their lies. Why wasn’t that put in a press release for CS and store employees to read and regurgitate ad nauseum?

      While if once this sinks in, this “could” (again, this is a big stretch and excuses the entire bait and switch routine that got you here in the first place,) still be a good deal compared to a competitor, the simple fact is, John Legere told me I could walk in as a “new customer” of T-Mobile, and with “good credit”, pay 0% down, have my pick of ANY model of iPad Air up to and including a 128GB model (also a falsehood, since they claim not to have it, but oh, I guess we COULD order that for you, even though we said we’d have it on hand,) as long as I was willing to pay the extra increments of $99/$199/$299 up front, and walk away with my 200MB of free data per month,without a regular monthly data plan. Oh, and don’t forget that they also tack on a $10 SIM card starter kit AND all of the associated taxes up front when you make your purchase.

      This WAS a brilliant option, they WOULD have gotten a ton of new customers, customers that would have potentially switched and existing cell plan to be on their network, and be happily paying customers for years to come, with the “freedom” of a little bit of data, just to get you hooked, and then hope that you step up to a daily plan/weekly plan/monthly plan which increases their market share and brand.

      But no, they couldn’t even wait for the dust to settle before they pulled the football from out from under us, a la Charlie Brown. Well done John Legere, you just sunk your own ship and potentially set yourself and your company up for a class action lawsuit, because you wanted to get cute with your words and then smile in our faces and say; “Oh, that’s not ENTIRELY what I said……”

      • exm144 - 9 years ago

        I couldn’t have said it better myself!

    • Daniel Gillespie - 9 years ago

      I think T-Mobile did not prepare well I had a nightmare getting them to get it right. I DID however buy a 32GB so I had to put 100 down plus pay sales tax. Sorry some of you guys are having a problem as I have seen some other folks here (in VA) be able to get theres like me. It does seem to be a mess at times… I think I did them scared when I walked in to my store and said fix it or everything goes back, phone and all….right here and right now. Hate that so many people are having a nightmare with this,
      T-MOBILE did not really think this through very well before launch but in even the store validated the program to me…I can tell you that every time I called CS everyone and I do mean EVERYONE had a different answer on how it should be fixed (my billing problem that is, they were charging me $20 for the line at first)… They should have trained their employees better. But I do now have the 200 mg free and I am only paying out the balance of 24 months which I will pay off much quicker .. What a mess for folks
      I hope you guys have better luck. Dan

  6. I got charged the monthly fee and they refuse to remove the fee saying the deal is only with a voice plan


Avatar for Jordan Kahn Jordan Kahn

Jordan writes about all things Apple as Senior Editor of 9to5Mac, & contributes to 9to5Google, 9to5Toys, & Electrek.co. He also co-authors 9to5Mac’s Logic Pros series.