T-Mobile is hemorrhaging customers, as it reported nearly a half million lost customers during its Q3 2012 earnings call, and a T-Mobile executive recently attributed the carrier’s struggle to its refusal to carry Apple’s iPhone.

Jim Alling

“Make no mistake about it: We would love to carry the iPhone. However, we want the economies to be right for us,” said T-Mobile COO Jim Alling, who, according to Fierce Mobile, spoke candidly during a discussion at the Morgan Stanley Twelfth-Annual Technology, Media, and Telecoms Conference in Barcelona, Spain:

“Alling said T-Mobile would not want to sign a deal similar to one a competitor recently signed with Apple. That was likely a veiled reference to Sprint Nextel, which began carrying the iPhone in late 2011 under a four-year, $15.5 billion deal with Apple. The device has substantially driven up Sprint’s device subsidy cost, and the operator has said its iPhone business will not turn a profit until 2015. [...] Alling acknowledged that not carrying the iPhone has been detrimental to T-Mobile, saying, ‘We recognize that it has been a point of churn for us.’”

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While T-Mobile on one hand remains adamant on not carrying the iPhone officially, it continues to expand its iPhone-compatible 4G network in many metro areas across the country. The carrier has a $4 billion plan to strengthen its “already competitive 4G experience,” and today it announced 10 new major areas under the large expansion effort.

The additional cities include Miami, Phoenix, San Francisco, Mesa and Tucson, Ariz., Modesto, Oakland, San Jose and Stockton, Calif., and Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

T-Mobile coyly added in its announcement today, “Customers in these metro areas can also bring their unlocked AT&T smartphones to T-Mobile, and experience a significant speed boost on our 4G network, while also saving up to $50/month compared to AT&T.”

[via T-Mobile and Fierce Mobile]