US operators draw swords as iPhone 6s launches

US operators draw swords as iPhone 6s launches

25 SEP 2015

US operators are upping the ante in their battle to secure market share for Apple’s latest phones, which were released earlier today.

While market leaders Verizon and AT&T have unveiled relatively moderate offers, long-term foes Sprint and T-Mobile US, in typical fashion, are once again trying to outdo each other.

Both companies this week released low-cost leasing plans for the devices, showing the apparent importance Apple’s latest product release has on both companies’ subscriber numbers.

Sprint, in its latest attempt to claw back market share after losing the country’s number three spot by connections to T-Mobile US earlier this year, unveiled an offer allowing customers to lease the new iPhone 6s at just $1 a month.

The deal, which trumped T-Mobile US’ similar $5 a month offer announced on Wednesday, gives new and existing customers the chance to trade in their current iPhone 6 for the new device, as long as it’s been paid off in full.

The low cost plans could also convince customers to continue to get their devices from their network provider, after Apple too released its own iPhone leasing program.

Beat T-Mobile US
Speaking of the offer, Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure claims the company “had no plans to do it” before T-Mobile US’ announcement on Wednesday. He then told his team to beat the offer, with 10 employees staying up all night to get the $1 plan ready.

“We are certain that more people will continue to switch to Sprint because of the great service and value we offer,” said Claure in a statement.

Market leaders opt not to lease
Both Verizon and AT&T have seemingly opted not to offer leasing programs, but give customers the chance to pay for the phone through an instalment plan. Verizon offers it at $27.08 a month, over 24 months, while AT&T provides a number of different offers spanning the cost over 30 months, 24 months or 12 months, starting at $21.67.

Verizon said the program allows users to upgrade to a new phone every year, and even if they didn’t want to, they have the option to pay off the phone in “24 low monthly instalments”.

“That’s a better option than those “lease plans” offered by other companies, which can include surprise balloon payments just 18 months into your agreement, or ask you to turn over your phone without getting anything for it,” it said in a statement.

Verizon also sweetened its deal by offering potential customers $400 to switch and trade in their old device, while AT&T offers $300.

Amid the pricing battle, Verizon also boasted the strength of its network in a tweet. “There’s having an iPhone 6s. Then there’s having it on the best network,” it said.


Kavit Majithia

Kavit joined Mobile World Live in May 2015 as Content Editor. He started his journalism career at the Press Association before joining Euromoney’s graduate scheme in April 2010. Read More >>

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