In a move that will likely cause T-Mobile CEO John Legere to jump for joy over another chance to hit AT&T below the belt, industry analysts speaking to Bloomberg suggest a cheaper ‘iPhone 5C’ could lure more customers away from the death star to T-Mobile.
Roger Entner, an analyst at Recon Analytics suggest that the playing field is more level than it has been in recent years and that’s good news for T-Mobile: “It’s a much more even playing field than it was last year, when AT&T (T) had more of an advantage…[T-Mobile] is in the right place at the right time with the right product.”
Expectations that Apple will announce a less expensive iPhone tomorrow along with the introduction of the iPhone 5 successor is high. Entner suggests that “getting a lower-cost iPhone could make a big difference for T-Mobile.”
While some of T-Mobile’s monthly financing plans can bring its total service cost closer to that of its competition, a less expensive iPhone could continue to make T-Mobile’s service more attractive. A theory echoed by Tero Kuittinen, New York-based head of sales and marketing Alekstra Oy, a business which helps manage telecommunication costs.
“The cheaper iPhone might fit T-Mobile’s budget plan like a glove.”
The thoughts of both Entner and Kuittinen were supported by a third analyst talking to Bloomberg who agreed with the overall sentiment of his industry colleagues. Michael Cote, an industry strategist with the Cote Collaborative in Chicago said AT&T and its larger rivals are vulnerable on cost right now:
“Assuming it is a lower-priced iPhone, it should, in theory, benefit T-Mobile more than the others,” Cote said. “If you look at the rate of people leaving AT&T for T-Mobile, the ratio is already bad, and this could exacerbate that.”
Could a cheaper iPhone, low-budget no-contract service plans and a blooming LTE network spell mountains of success for T-Mobile in the future? These analysts believe that’s a real-world possibility, but first Apple has to officially announce the lower-cost iPhone 5C.
As for how T-Mobile sees this theorem that a cheaper iPhone could lead to more AT&T customer defections, they are tight-lipped:
“We are looking forward to Apple’s announcement,” T-Mobile Chief Marketing Officer Mike Sievert said in a statement. “We plan to continue being highly competitive.”
We’ll find out everything tomorrow.