If You Think Wireless is Competitive Now, Just Wait Until the Apple, Samsung ‘8s’ Launch
At this year’s Mobile World Congress, the topic on everybody’s mind is the hotly increasing competition between U.S. wireless carriers—as evidenced by the rush to unlimited data plans unfolds.
That being said, things could, and most likely will get hotter. The two largest smartphone manufacturers will soon release their new devices—and both vendors seem to have something to prove.
The race to unlimited data has been on for some time. T-Mobile and Sprint have long offered unlimited data at excellent price points, but T-Mobile burst ahead when it launched T-Mobile One unlimited plan for everybody.
T-Mobile’s risky bet on unlimited data may have ushered in Verizon’s recent unlimited data plan. Not to be left in the dust, both U.S. Cellular and AT&T dropped their unlimited pricing.
While the race to unlimited has been exciting, the real battle is set for the fall, when Apple launches its iPhone 8. The device is expected to be curved and sport a new, faster charging system. Apple’s 2017 iPhone will mark the tenth anniversary of the original iPhone launch. The iPhone 8 represents another test of CEO Tim Cook’s vision and leadership.
In other words, there’s a lot riding on the iPhone 8.
Still, don’t count Samsung out yet. It, too, has a lot riding on the launch of its S8. Sure, the S7 debacle and recall are certain to have an impact on future sales, which is why Samsung didn’t launch its S-line model at the Mobil World Congress. And to be certain, Samsung’s top executives aren’t helping the brand with charges of bribery and embezzlement.
In the end, this divided and volatile market offers a wealth of opportunities for Sprint, Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile. Major device launches often erupt into elevated levels of consumer switching. As a matter of fact, the iPhone 7 launch last year sparked U.S. wireless operators to launch unprecedented promotions to customers who would sign a two-year contract.