There are more cell phones in America than there are people, according to CTIA. That means big things for manufacturers of cell phones, accessories, and apps. It also means big things for service providers, but it’s a bit different a game for them. After all, once they’ve exhausted their supply of new customers, how are they going to increase their subscriber totals?
The answer is by pulling subscribers from other carriers. According to this graph, the titans in the industry are doing this well, while the smaller players are basically flat. Chances are, after all, that Sprint customers are more likely to trade up to AT&T or Verizon than they are to trade down to T-Mobile.
The key for smaller carriers is to incentivize customers to switch. Sprint is currently playing this game heavily with their truly unlimited data promotion. While AT&T and Verizon put strict limits on usage, Sprint allows you to use whatever you want. Now they’re offering another promotion: a discount for switching.
The problem with switching providers is that you have to buy a new handset. Your current handset is locked to your provider, and chances are you can’t just up and take it to another one. You need to buy a new one. It’s a big reason why people stay with their current carriers.
With Sprint’s promotion, though, you can get the Samsung Galaxy S3 for just $100, half off its normal price. It might seem like poor timing, given that Sprint will have the Galaxy S4 soon enough. But you know what? The S3 is still the best Android on the market, and it will be simply relegated to second when the S4 comes out. The second best smartphone on the market for $100? That deal doesn’t come along often.