Biju Nair, CEO of used device specialist Hyla Mobile (pictured), tipped US operators to use massive promotions as a tool to get customers to buy new handsets following a dip in sales in Q1.

Nair told Mobile World Live AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile US would use “aggressive and strong” offers to kick-start device sales following declines during Q1 as they closed shops due to the Covid-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.

Recent earnings figures from the trio showed AT&T equipment sales fell 8 per cent year-on-year to $3.4 billion; Verizon’s down 16.3 per cent to $4.1 billion; and T-Mobile 15.9 per cent lower at $2.12 billion.

Nair noted 5G as another factor around device promotions: with operators spending “multi-million dollars” on networks and infrastructure, they are understandably keen for consumers to be able to access the services while also gaining “incremental revenue” from the sale of compatible handsets.

He pointed to a recent promotion from AT&T as an example, which offered the Samsung Galaxy S20 for $300 to consumers signing up to an extra contract: “We will see incentives like that coming from carriers”.

AT&T and Verizon executives this week said a 5G iPhone would be a key turning point for their next-generation strategies.