As U.S. carriers anxiously await the release of some potentially blockbuster smartphones later this year, T-Mobile launched an aggressive promotion for two new lower-profile handsets from LG.
The operator launched buy-one, get-one-free deals on both the LG G6 and the V20 for users who buy phones on T-Mobile’s equipment installment plans. Customers who add a line will receive a rebate in the form of a prepaid MasterCard for up to $500.
The G6 sells for $500, while the V20 carries a $480 price tag through T-Mobile.
T-Mobile’s announcement comes just a day after Sprint launched a campaign to leverage its exclusive deal to carry the first phone from Essential Products, which was founded by Andy Rubin. Sprint is offering a $260 discount on the Essential PH-1, a $700 modular handset slated to ship in the next few weeks.
The promotions from T-Mobile and Sprint signal the approach of what promises to be a particularly eventful fall season for U.S. operators and their handset partners. New flagship phones are expected to be released from heavyweights including Apple, Samsung and Google, while Motorola is expected to refresh its handset lineup as it adds carrier partners.
And those phones will hit the market as the U.S. smartphone segment appears to be recovering from a lackluster 2016. Smartphone shipments jumped 14% year over year in the second quarter, according to fresh data from Counterpoint Technology Market Research, as American carriers posted nearly 1.25 million postpaid net phone additions in what the firm described as a “surprise uptick” compared to the same period last year.
“The gap (between carrier smartphone sales) has narrowed considerably over the past couple of years,” Counterpoint reported earlier this week. “Bringing back unlimited data plans helped Verizon gain this quarter, the largest carrier by subscribers. AT&T and Sprint have their work cut out as they feel a squeeze from T-Mobile and Verizon postpaid brands as well as healthy growth in (the) prepaid segment from Tracfone and unlocked open channel players.”
The increasing competition will only heat up in the coming weeks as carriers seek to leverage new phones to grow their market share in advance of the crucial holiday shopping season.