Major wireless carriers, including AT&T (NYSE: T ), T-Mobile, and Verizon (NYSE: VZ ), are accepting pre-orders ahead of the Friday launch of Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL )'s iPhone 15. According to MoffettNathanson analysts, these companies are offering substantial promotions for customers, with variations based on the provider and the customer's status - whether they are new or premium rate plan subscribers.
Craig Moffett, founder of MoffettNathanson, noted that this year's iPhone promotions are the most generous to date. The top three carriers are offering free iPhone 15 Pro devices or discounts up to $1,000. However, Moffett also indicated that these aggressive promotions do not significantly differ from those offered last year.
Data from mobile phone price data firm Navi supports Moffett's claim. The average promotional values this year are similar to those of the previous year. However, AT&T has increased its promotional values for both new and existing customers upgrading their devices compared to last year. In contrast, while Verizon has increased promotional values for those switching to their service, they have decreased benefits for existing customers upgrading their devices.
T-Mobile's promotional values for customers switching or upgrading their services are 9% lower than last year. This reduction suggests T-Mobile's confidence in gaining customers without excessive giveaways. On the other hand, AT&T is offering 8% higher promotions for similar customers, indicating a different strategy.
Despite these aggressive promotions from the big three carriers, cable companies with wireless operations such as Charter and Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA )'s Xfinity Mobile are also offering deals. These deals are less attractive than those offered by AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon. However, Moffett suggests that these cable companies may still attract some customers away from the big three carriers.
MoffettNathanson holds Market Perform ratings for AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile with price targets set at $17, $40, and $172 respectively. On Monday, AT&T stock fell by 1% to $15.08, while Verizon and T-Mobile shares fell by 0.8% to $33.53 and $140.81 respectively. Meanwhile, Charter and Comcast are rated as Outperform with a $665 and $47 price target respectively.
Despite the high level of promotions in the wireless industry and the gradual decrease in industry unit growth rate, Moffett expressed that this year's promotions do not alleviate these concerns but do not exacerbate them either.
Meanwhile, Citi Research analysts do not anticipate these promotions to significantly impact the traditional iPhone launch season or recent market trends. Apple's stock increased by 1.7% to $177.97 on Monday.
This article was generated with the support of AI and reviewed by an editor. For more information see our T&C.
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