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T-Mobile's Legere Says Apple's Phablet Selling Much Better Than Expected (Video)

Demand for Apple's iPhone 6 Plus represented 45 percent of the mix at one point.

Asa Mathat

In a lively evening session at Code/Mobile Monday night, T-Mobile’s outspoken Chief Executive John Legere revealed that Apple’s new iPhone 6 Plus has sold at far higher levels than the carrier was anticipating.

The company and industry observers both expected the market would overwhelmingly prefer the smaller iPhone 6, which Apple positioned as the standard upgrade to the iPhone 5s. In fact, T-Mobile was looking for that handset to constitute between 75 percent and 80 percent of the total mix between the two models.

But at one point it was closer to 55 percent, meaning Apple’s phablet represented nearly half of overall demand for the nation’s fourth-largest carrier. Legere said he wasn’t sure where the balance stood today.

He said ensuring the iPhone was available on T-Mobile was one of his highest priorities when he first took the helm in the fall of 2012.

“Get on your knees, crawl over there, do whatever the hell you have to do,” he recalled instructing his troops during the interview with Re/code’s Ina Fried onstage at The Ritz-Carlton in Half Moon Bay, Calif. “Your store without the iPhone in it is shit.”

Apple’s phone now represents 20 percent of the company’s smartphone base — and both new models have been selling briskly, he said.

“Overall demand for us was huge,” he said. “We got hammered by it.”

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