Apple: U.S. Carriers Push the iPhone Ahead of Father’s Day
Father’s Day is fast approaching. With the most recent retail sales report suggesting that the state of the US consumer is much stronger than previously believed, this could be an opportunity for further increase in spending in the second quarter.
Apple may stand to benefit, particularly in iPhone 11 sales. At least this is my impression after scanning the home pages of the largest US-based carriers: Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile. All of them have been running above-the-fold promotions that feature Apple’s higher-end smartphone models.
iPhone 11 carrier promotions
- Verizon’s deal is a “buy one, get one” offer. The promotion applies not only to all iPhone 11 trims, but also to the now discontinued XS and XS Max. Verizon seems to be targeting multi-user households, especially those whose members have existing service plans with other carriers. At the lower end of the spectrum, Verizon is also offering a full $399 rebate on the iPhone SE over the course of 24 months. In all cases, an Unlimited plan is required to qualify for the discounts.
- AT&T’s approach is different, and perhaps a bit less compelling. The company is offering 50% off a single device. Even if a second phone is not required, a new line must be added to a new or existing account, also making the offer more suitable for customers switching carriers. A postpaid unlimited plan must be signed, but for 30 months instead of 24. It also strikes me as curious that AT&T’s promotion seems targeted at graduates, not fathers.
- T-Mobile is using yet a different strategy: the “trade-in for a free device” approach. A new line and active service for 24 months is needed for the full rebate on the iPhone 11 to be provided. At the entry level, T-Mobile’s iPhone SE offer seems to be the least enticing: 50% off, compared to Verizon’s free offer and AT&T’s $5 per month on the 256 Gb model.
Will 2020 be the year of the iPhone?
I commented recently that the iPhone has been selling relatively well in the past couple of quarters, even though the industry as a whole has been suffering from the maturing product cycle and the COVID-19 crisis. It looks like Apple has taken the right steps to streamline its iPhone portfolio in 2020, and the results are showing. With the help of U.S. phone carriers, the Cupertino company could get yet another boost.
2020, a challenging year otherwise, could be the year of the iPhone. Not only have the higher-end models been performing well, the iPhone SE has only recently seen the light of day. The cherry on the cake could be a 5G model to be launched in the holiday quarter.
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