Verizon Sweetens IPhone Giveaway, Matching AT&T, T-Mobile Offers
(Bloomberg) -- Verizon Communications Inc., which trailed competitors in mobile-phone growth last quarter, has decided to match rivals AT&T Inc. and T-Mobile US Inc. with an offer to give away the new $999 Apple iPhone 13 Pro, intensifying the fight for new subscribers.
Carriers are starting to take orders for the latest iPhones from Apple Inc. New and existing customers who have qualifying trade-ins and unlimited data plans are eligible for the free phones. Verizon was previously offering up to $800. Terms of the promotion are on the company’s website.
With last year’s launch of the iPhone 12, AT&T made a standing offer of a free phone to anyone with a trade-in and unlimited data plan. The promotion paid off. The company added 789,000 phone subscribers in the second quarter, topping the 627,000 gained by perennial growth leader T-Mobile. Verizon, the No. 1 U.S. wireless carrier, added 275,000 mobile phone customers.
The giveaways are an attempt to accelerate subscriber growth around the release of new phones and ahead of the holidays. But the cost could dent the carriers’ profitability.
“AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile launched generous iPhone 13 deals, marking an uptick in promotional activity that could crimp service prices and margin expansion in coming quarters but yield higher revenue and profit growth in the long term,” Bloomberg Intelligence analyst John Butler said in a note Friday.
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