As the battle for cell phone subscribers wage on between the carriers, T-Mobile has added another arrow to its quiver, encouraging Verizon customers who have an iPhone to switch networks.
As part of a new promotion starting May 31, any Verizon customer with an iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, or iPhone SE can bring their phone to a T-Mobile store and the phone will be paid off by T-Mobile. The deal is also good for Google Pixel smartphones as well.
However, Verizon customers are required to pay $15 a month for T-Mobile's Premium Device Protection Plus insurance program. The insurance program protects the iPhone from loss, theft or damage.
The offer is only available in the U.S. and customers will get the remaining amount owed on their iPhones in a digital prepaid MasterCard in approximately 15 days after they trade in their device.
“After desperately launching unlimited, Verizon’s network choked—while our network speeds surged. Today, T-Mobile has a whopping 23% speed advantage over Verizon,” said T-Mobile CEO Legere in a statement. “So, to kick off summer, we’re going BIG right out of the gate and throwing a lifeline to millions of Verizon customers. Now, you can ditch Verizon, keep your phone, and we’ll even pay it off for you!"
Analysts believe the new marketing initiative, for which T-Mobile and Legere have become known for, will keep Verizon on the defensive and may be a precursor to other announcements.
Jackdaw Research analyst Jan Dawson said the deal applies to Verizon because of how similar Verizon's network is to T-Mobile's network.
"It also helps that Verizon is doing a little better lately competitively since reintroducing unlimited services – it turned around its postpaid phone net add trend in Q1 after the move – and so T-Mobile may feel it needs to get more aggressive to redress the balance and keep its positive porting ratio versus Verizon going," Dawson said on his Tech Narratives website.
Dawson added that T-Mobile is likely to introduce "other announcements like this over the next few weeks."
Legere has often poked fun at his larger competitors, as they lose subscribers to T-Mobile, which has been aggressive in acquiring new subscribers through its marketing tactics.
In April, Legere needled the New York-based Verizon on Twitter after the company reported first-quarter earnings that missed Wall Street estimates. It also said retail postpaid subscribers -- the most lucrative for a telecom -- fell by 307,000 during the period, including 289,000 phone losses.