Will iPhone X Promotions On Black Friday Renew Wireless Price War? – Investor's Business Daily

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Hot deals for Apple‘s (AAPL) iPhone X starting around Black Friday could bring back wireless price wars as T-Mobile US (TMUS) and Sprint (S) renew aggressive marketing after failed merger talks.

“We suspect the need to maintain net (subscriber) add momentum will drive Sprint and T-Mobile to offer aggressive promotions starting around Black Friday (Nov. 24 following Thanksgiving),” Jeffrey Kvall, a Nomura-Instinet analyst, said in a note to clients.

T-Mobile and Sprint broke off merger talks on Nov. 4.

Verizon Communications (VZ) and AT&T (T) will likely match promotional offers from T-Mobile and Sprint, analysts say. AT&T and Verizon reintroduced unlimited wireless data plans in early 2017 amid market share gains by T-Mobile and Sprint.

“We believe competition will heat up after the recent abnormal lull as the holiday selling season begins, the iPhone X becomes available and cable enters the mix,” UBS analyst John Hodulik said in his note.

Apple’s new flagship smartphone, the iPhone X, hit store shelves on Nov. 3 after production delays. The iPhone X is expected to be in tight supply throughout the holidays. Delivery dates for online orders have improved from 5-6 weeks to 3-4 weeks.

“The iPhone X cycle stands out as the best chance in years to entice subscribers to shift carriers,” added Kvaal in a report. “We expect both T-Mobile and Sprint to offer aggressive promos for Black Friday.”

Apple rolled out the iPhone 8 and the higher-priced iPhone X in mid-September.


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AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon all reported that subscribers upgraded to new smartphones, including the iPhone 8, at a slower rate in the September quarter than a year earlier.

In the September quarter, T-Mobile again led the industry in “postpaid” phone subscriber additions. T-Mobile added 595,000 higher spending postpaid subscribers, while Sprint claimed 279,000 more and Verizon tacked on 274,000. AT&T said it lost 97,000 postpaid phone subscribers.

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