The British mobile unit of Deutsche Telekom lost customers last year, but its G1 phone featuring Google's Android software helped lift contract customers
The G1 Android handset now accounts for 20 per cent of T-Mobile's (DT) contract sales, the operator revealed in its latest financial results.
The results for 2008, released on Friday, showed a three per cent overall year-on-year drop in T-Mobile's customer base to 16.8 million, with a 5.2 per cent drop in pre-pay customer numbers to 12.7 million. Contract customer numbers, however, rose by 4.5 per cent to four million, with mobile broadband device sales seeing a year-on-year increase of 250 per cent.
Jim Hyde, T-Mobile UK's chief executive, said in a statement: "The successful launch of the Android-based G1 in October and the ongoing demand for mobile broadband services had a positive impact on the latter half of 2008."
The G1, which is currently still the only handset on the market to use Google's (GOOG) Android software stack, was launched exclusively on T-Mobile at the end of October 2008. The second Android phone, the Magic, will be launched sometime this spring by Vodafone (VOD), also on an exclusive basis. Both handsets are made by HTC.
According to T-Mobile, the G1 produced the operator's "best-selling launch of 2008."