AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson said that the model that has prevailed in the U.S. wireless industry for years of customers getting subsidized devices in exchange for signing two-year contracts is radically shifting.
LAS VEGAS--I've asked almost every company I've met with so far here at the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show the same question: How would a shift in the U.S. market from device subsidies to device financing affect your business and the wider market? The responses I've received, mainly from handset companies, tended to indicate that if such a shift does take place, the onus will be on OEMs to provide value, either in terms of price or innovation--or both.
Samsung Electronics' shares fell today amid concern among investors about the possibility of weaker-than-expected fourth-quarter results and declining profits in its flagship mobile division.
Although Apple is the world's No. 2 smartphone maker and, for now, the most popular U.S. smartphone producer, the company's position could be eroded as carriers in developed markets shift away from providing handset subsidies, according to a financial analyst.
Huawei is not giving up entirely on the U.S. market, even if it has concluded that it's not worth it to pursue a substantive network gear business amid continuing security concerns. Instead, the Chinese vendor will focus on building up its handset business, and it may benefit from an ongoing shift away from device subsidies.
Although smartphone penetration is still growing in many markets in Europe and the United States, carriers will need to get increasingly creative to get those remaining non-smartphone users to convert over to smartphones, which have higher average revenue per user, according to a new study by Analysys Mason.
The device upgrade plans recently unveiled by T-Mobile US, AT&T Mobility and Verizon Wireless likely won't save too many customers money, but they could boost carriers' margins and increase smartphone sales for handset makers like Apple, analysts say.
T-Mobile US launched a new promotion for the summer in which it is dropping the upfront price on its entire lineup of devices in stores nationwide to zero dollars down.
A new ad from T-Mobile US calls AT&T Mobility's new handset upgrade program "sneaky" and "underhanded." The ad is the latest attempt by T-Mobile to paint its larger rivals AT&T and Verizon Wireless as unfairly overcharging customers.
Even though Verizon Wireless will follow T-Mobile US and AT&T Mobility with a new smartphone upgrade program, Verizon Communications CFO Fran Shammo said he doesn't think many customers will use the plan and Verizon won't change its service pricing as a result.