Black Friday period to see prepaid brand disruption, predicts GlobalData

Black Friday is the most important sales time of the year for US wireless telecommunications carriers. This year is expected to see a competitive showdown as prepaid brands start aggressively promoting flagship phones, according to GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, traditionally kickstarts the end-of-year holiday shopping season. But in 2019 GlobalData anticipates spirited discounting and special offers from wireless carriers and retailers well before the traditional post-Thanksgiving rush.

Nicole Teasley, Technology Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “The Black Friday period will start earlier than usual in 2019 and will be more competitive than ever. Importantly, we’re expecting to see prepaid wireless brands such as Metro by T-Mobile and MVNOs like Xfinity Mobile look to challenge the national postpaid brands on like-for-like promos.

“During Black Friday 2018, prepaid carriers stuck to low-cost and free entry-level smartphones. This year, we predict multiple discounted flagship smartphone promos from Boost Mobile, AT&T Prepaid, Metro by T-Mobile, and Cricket Wireless. Switcher deals will be the most heavily featured, which means a line port will most likely be required to qualify for the deepest discounts.”

Research by GlobalData reveals that a host of players in the US smartphone market, from postpaid and prepaid carriers to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) such as Apple and Samsung, Big Box retailers, mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) and newer players such as Xfinity Mobile from Comcast and Spectrum Mobile from Charter, are expected to compete using a variety of promotion tactics and strategies.

Teasley concluded: “There will be aggressive offers from all brands, but we believe most will be announced especially early this year.

“Switcher offers will be the most aggressive, but carriers will also push buy-one, get-one (BOGO) add-a-line promotions to secure multi-line accounts”.

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