Nov 30, 2016 — by: Mark Reschke
Categories: Competition, Investors, iPad, iPhone, iWatch, MacBook, News, Products

Iphone_apple_christmas_2016If you haven't noticed, Apple silently racked up large scale iPad and MacBook Air sales over the Black Friday weekend, according to Adobe's analytics. But wait! Like a good Ginsu knife, there's more! Apple's Beats headphones were also show stoppers, and the new MacBook Pro has seen stronger than anticipated demand since its release. If you think there couldn't possibly be more, you'd be wrong! Apple's iPhone is also the most wanted item on Christmas wish lists this year, up by 2% over last year's desire for iPhones. There can't possible more than this, right?! Wrong! This weekend I moved to Verizon from AT&T, and upgraded muy plan with six new iPhone 7's! 

Across the board Apple's sales are looking solid, but Verizon's virtual blind-side to AT&T this holiday weekend may have given Apple an extra boost. The largest US carrier offered $200 Visa cards and generous trade-in values on older iPhones for new customers. After the cash card arrives, my purchase of a 128GB iPhone 7 is a net zero dollars cost to me. The Verizon plan also provides my 6 lines with a 24GB per month data pool, with half of it able to be rolled over into future months. Verizon even offered $300 for a base iPhone 5, plus the $200 Visa card! It was an impressive offer, and coming from Verizon, a company known to rarely provide steep discounts, AT&T was caught flat footed.

Other carriers such as Sprint and T-Mobile were not as likely to have been heavily impacted by Verizon's Black Friday weekend offer, due to the fact their own switch plans are equal to, or even more aggressive, than Verizon's. But for "carrier snobs" like me, that won't settle for T-Mobile or Sprint coverage, the offer was too good for me to continue with AT&T. I told a friend about it, and he instantly moved his plan to Verizon from AT&T. Chalk up an additional 3 iPhone 7's sold.

In my little sphere of influence that's 10 additional iPhone sales that Apple would not have sold this season, had it not been for Verizon pulling out all the stops. But they did. An assumption may be that this deal helped Android phones with strong sales also, but not likely. AT&T has the highest rate of iPhone users than any carrier. All things being equal, a large swath of iPhone users just shifted to Verizon, while Apple gained in smartphone market share. 

Talking with AT&T before I made the switch revealed they had little to offer. It was heavily promoted that I join up with AT&T's Next plan, which is nothing new. I was then offered 5GB more of data, and $100 line credit per new iPhone purchased. Again, these options where not even close to compelling and held little financial interest and offered no value compared to what Verizon was offering. In the end, the math worked and Apple is likely to be having a surprisingly strong December quarter, with Verizon being the unlikely cream on the top.

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