T-Mobile is hoping to kick-start the holiday shopping season by offering a two-for-one deal on Samsung’s Galaxy S7.
The carrier announced a weekend promotion giving customers a free S7 after 24 monthly credits when they add a qualifying line of service on its equipment installment plan. The promotion is available in stores, online and over the phone, and runs from Friday morning through Sunday night.
Users who switch operators can combine the offer with T-Mobile’s ongoing campaign to pay as much as $650 per line or more via trade-in credits for remaining device payments and early termination fees from other operators.
The promotion comes amid notably dampened enthusiasm in the early days of a typically raucous holiday shopping season. Samsung’s disastrous endeavor with the Galaxy Note 7 has created something of a void in the market of high-end smartphones, as Wave7 Research reported earlier this week, and limited stocks of both Apple’s iPhone 7 Plus and Google’s Pixel XL are also shackling the market. And while Google’s new phone works on the networks of every major U.S. carrier, Verizon has “exclusive” rights to the handset, further limiting its appeal.
“One month into 4Q 2016, postpaid competition is mostly marked by the quiet between the storms of September (the iPhone 7 launch and the Note 7 recalls) and the sales of Black Friday,” Wave7 wrote in a note to subscribers. “Heavy marketing of the Pixel and major offers on it from Verizon and T-Mobile – and a minor one from AT&T – are the exceptions to this rule.”
T-Mobile’s campaign is likely to signal increased competition in the coming weeks, however. AT&T is preparing to launch its OTT DirecTV Now offering and is sure to back the service with a big-budget marketing push, and both T-Mobile and Sprint are likely to ramp up their advertising efforts to steal customers from the nation’s two largest mobile network operators.
“For Verizon, the question is can it continue to be without a truly unlimited plan when this is a very loud message from the other three,” Jennifer Fritzsche of Wells Fargo Securities wrote in a research note this week. “For AT&T, how will (the) DTV Now plan be pushed in the market – is it a loss leader to capture more wireless and broadband growth? Finally for Sprint and T-Mobile, have they sustained momentum seen in (the) September quarter thus far (in the) December quarter and what is the game plan for a holiday push?”