T-Mobile US's ( TMUS ) new buy-one, get one free iPhone promotions include Apple's ( AAPL ) high-end iPhone X for the first time but still fall short of the aggressiveness some analysts have been looking for from wireless firms.
T-Mobile on Wednesday said new customers that purchase an iPhone 8 Plus or iPhone X as their first device will get $700 via a rebate - that's enough to buy an iPhone 8 outright. The $700 can also be used to buy a second iPhone 8 Plus or iPhone X.
The iPhone X starts at just under $1,000, so consumers will still need to pay $300 or more on the second device, depending on the model. Apple didn't get much help from wireless firms in iPhone X promotions in 2017 amid tight supplies, analysts say. Apple reports fiscal second-quarter earnings on Feb. 1 and analysts will be focusing on iPhone X guidance.
"We expect solid fiscal Q1 results and while there may be some risk to fiscal Q2 forecasts, due in part to lack of carrier iPhone X promotions, we remain positive on the continuing platform strength," William Power, a Baird analyst, said in a note to clients published Wednesday. Power's report came out before T-Mobile announced its new promotions for iPhones and Samsung devices.
"We would note that while carriers have offered (buy one, get one) promotions for iPhone 8, we are not aware of any significant iPhone X promotions, which could be one of the elements impacting fiscal Q2, while benefiting carrier margins."
The iPhone X went on sale Nov. 3 after production delays, following the iPhone 8's release in late September.
Sprint's chief executive signaled in September that wireless firms would not subsidize all smartphones as prices rise.
"I think we should invite the manufacturers to share a little of the cash flow burden that comes with - as the price of devices goes higher," said Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure.
T-Mobile on Tuesday pre-announced that it added 891,000 postpaid phone subscribers in the December quarter, topping consensus estimates of 810,000.