While the tier-one carriers continue their frenzied campaigns in an effort to poach competitors' consumers, AT&T (NYSE: T) this week began targeting business users.
The carrier launched a promotion enabling new and existing business customers to buy two smartphones for the price of one. The deal applies to the Samsung Galaxy S6, Galaxy S6 active, iPhone, and some other unspecified models.
Both handsets must be purchased through the installment plan AT&T Next, and the rebate will be applied in the form of bill credits over 30 months. The first phone may be a new line or an upgrade, while the second phone must be a new line.
AT&T also rebooted a consumer-centric promotion it had run over the holidays. Users who purchase a Samsung Galaxy through AT&T Next can receive either a free Samsung Galaxy phone or a Gear S2 smartwatch, both of which require two-year agreements.
The promotions are likely a strategy for AT&T and its retail partners to decrease post-holiday inventories in advance of new devices that were showcased at CES two weeks ago or that will be introduced at Mobile World Congress next month.
But they're also likely a way for AT&T to boost its subscriber base in an extremely competitive market. Like Verizon, AT&T has increased its focus on lucrative postpaid smartphone users rather than simply looking to increase its overall customer base. While that strategy might boost the bottom line, analysts at Evercore recently said they expect AT&T to post a net loss of 300,000 postpaid subscribers when it reports fourth-quarter earnings next week.
Thus, targeting business users might be a good way to boost overall subscribers at the same time it benefits the bottom line.
- see this AT&T announcement
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