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T-Mobile Plans Interrupt Apple Upgrades

January 11, 2024 - Although the Q4 postpaid market is tracking down ~5% y/y, Apple increased its market share at AT&T and Verizon while holding steady at T-Mobile. We believe legacy T-Mobile subscribers' slow transition onto the new pricier Go5G Plus plans hindered upgrades among its large Magenta Max base, who were ineligible for the best iPhone 15 discounts. In contrast, AT&T and Verizon's strong promotional trade-in offers drove y/y iPhone growth, highlighting an unusual divergence among postpaid carriers and creating another headwind for handset OEMs in 2024. We are interested to see if AT&T and Verizon maintain their current level of promotions in 1Q24 to continue to pressure T-Mobile.

A Series of Unfortunate Events

January 11, 2024 - While we forecast slight growth in the postpaid market in 2024 following a lackluster 2023, we are notably cautious on the Samsung S24 series, marking our most apprehensive outlook since the astronomically priced S20 series. The S24 faces potential y/y declines, primarily due to the challenges arising from AT&T and Verizon’s shift to 36-month financing culminating in 2024 and T-Mobile’s weak upgrade trends due to its difficulties in leveraging device subsidies to shift subscribers to its Go5G plans. Meanwhile, we believe healthy iPhone 15 momentum will allow Apple to continue gaining share, adding further pressure to S24 sales.

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BayStreet Research is a boutique firm with over two decades of experience providing data, in-depth research, and actionable insights on the U.S. smartphone, tablet, and smartwatch markets.

BayStreet delivers a holistic view of the U.S. wireless market and provides clients the "why" behind trends faster than other research firms.  BayStreet helps carriers, OEMs, component suppliers, and investors wanting to drive business results.

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