What AT&T’s and T-Mobile’s record low churn means for Apple iPhone demand

“AT&T on Tuesday reported record-low wireless churn — fewer subscriber disconnects as customers delayed upgrading smartphones — joining T-Mobile US, which also reported record low churn on July 19,” Reinhardt Krause reports for Investor’s Business Daily.

“The upshot: Consumers are likely waiting for the new Apple iPhones before switching service providers and upgrading, said Jonathan Chaplin, analyst at New Street Research, in a report,” Krause reports. “AT&T reported churn of 0.8% for the June quarter while T-Mobile reported churn of 1.1%. At that rate, AT&T would lose less than 10% of subscribers over 12 months, while T-Mobile would see about 13% leave.”

“The big question is whether wireless wars will get worse as the release of new iPhones approaches, says Simon Flannery, a Morgan Stanley analyst in a report,” Krause reports. “‘Carriers view iPhone launches as opportunities to gain market share, which usually elevates competitive behavior,’ he said in a report. T-Mobile in 2016 launched a “free” iPhone promotion that was replicated by other wireless firms, he noted. ‘When promotions are quickly replicated, the biggest beneficiary is usually Apple,’ Flannery added.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Ah, competition! Get ready for great deals on your new Apple iPhone, if you can find one!


  1. I sure hope iPhone sales are equal to all this advance hype of “super cycles” and stuff. Apple continues to gamble with basically one product line so it better turn out well. Since the Chinese consumer has, for the most part, discarded iPhone purchasing, more Americans need to pick up the slack.

    1. The Chinese “consumer” has not abandoned the iPhone.

      You have to separate the Chinese consumer into two categories: the prime consumer, and the sub-prime consumer. The sub-prime consumer is late to the “smart phone” market and is ditching their feature phones for cheap Chinese “smart phones”. The prime Chinese consumer continues to be an iPhone user.

      In a country of 1.3 Billion the number of sub-prime consumers far exceeds the number of prime consumers, which is why the shift in apparent unit “market share”.

      Further the Chinese “middle class” is growing in size by about 50 million per year. They aspire to prestige products such as the iPhone.

  2. The fears of Apple raising the price of the iPhone “X” to $1200 are horribly misplaced. Apple is just taking advantage of competition among the carriers (resulting in lower priced data plans).

    The extra $230 rumored in the iPhone “X” cost amounts to about $10 per month on a two year installment plan (contract). In the meantime data plans have declined about $10 per month in the last 12 months.

    Net monthly price change to the consumer for the iPhone and accompanying data plan is virtual $0.

    Besides, I think the entry price for the iPhone”X” will be about $899, far from the rumored $1200 – $1400.

  3. I am a blue collar worker who loves Apple products but I am tired of paying the enormous prices. My wife and I upgraded to the iPhone 7 and that will be our last new iPhone. We have traded up every other year faithfully but I have reached my limit. We will hold onto our 7’s for three years or so and buy in the newer end of the used market. While the newest, latest and greatest is truly valued in this forum, I can not say that it is that big of a deal in our daily lives to be a year our two back from the cutting edge. Am I the only one feeling that way?

    1. You aren’t alone. I stopped buying new MacBook Pros every other year, too.

      I just don’t see a reason why my old MB Pro or iPhone 5s is obsolete for what I use it for. If there were some gigantic feature I needed in a newer model, I might splurge, but again, I might wait 6 months and buy one that is used or marked down.

      The same thing goes for an SUV. Buy new and take the massive value hit or buy an off lease low mileage used SUV and let someone else take the hit on early depreciation.

    2. Umm, you’re basically whining about your own decision to upgrade so often. That’s not Apple’s fault, nor should the blame be placed on the price of the iPhone. It is completely your own fault for thinking you needed to upgrade. Apple supports their devices for several years. You only really need to upgrade when that support is no longer there. (When your device can longer install the latest version of iOS.)

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