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Wireless Networks Fight for Customers and 5G Contracts, What's Going On?

Apple is scheduled to reveal its newest iPhone on Tuesday. It's the big winner as AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon fight over customers.
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On Verizxon 5G

Big 5G Deals From Wireless Carriers

Please consider the Secret to Apple’s iPhone Sales Boom.

Apple Inc.’s APPL iPhone sales have been booming since it launched models last year with ultrafast 5G cellular capability—thanks in large part to wireless companies’ attractive offers to get customers using the new technology.

Verizon Communications Inc. AT&T Inc. T and T-Mobile US Inc. TMUS have rolled out huge subsidies over the past year to retain customers and reduce the cost of buying new iPhones so users will upgrade to their 5G services. As Apple prepares to show off a new crop of 5G-enabled iPhones Tuesday, a big question is how long that expensive fight among the carriers for customers will continue to propel iPhone sales.

Asked several times this year about the potential for continued growth, Chief Executive Tim Cook has remained optimistic. “We’re in the very early innings of 5G,” he told analysts in July. “If you look at 5G penetration around the world, there’s only a couple of countries that are in the double-digits yet. And so that’s an amazing thing nine months or so into this.”

The latest battle between carriers began to emerge ahead of the iPhone 12’s arrival. Last year, AT&T, which had a lot of legacy iPhone users, started targeting incentives at existing customers to upgrade rather than just trying to lure new ones in from competitors, said Cliff Maldonado, principal analyst for BayStreet Research.

“The carriers are fighting like mad,” Mr. Maldonado said. “I tell my clients it can get a lot more aggressive because every carrier has reasons to grow.”

5G Verizon Where Is It?

Verizon 5G Availability

5G ATT Where Is It?

ATT 5G Availability

Mish's Trade-In Experience

Last October I traded in a Samsung Galaxy 7 Edge from 2016, and got $500 off a new iPhone 12 Pro.

I was originally offered nothing for my phone, deemed worthless. But if I switched to Verizon I got $500.


  • I got $500 for a phone that was essentially worthless.
  • I got off ATT, a company with arguably the worst customer service of any large corporation in the entire world.
  • Since my wife was already on Verizon, we saved additional money by merging plans.
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My ATT Customer Service Experience

In Illinois, a little over a year ago, I had ATT uverse, wireless, and a regular phone line.

It is damn near impossible to get a live person and their automated assistance is about the worst ever.

Then when you do get someone, none of the departments talk to each other. Wireless only did wireless, plain old telephone service (POTS) only did POTS, and uverse only handled uverse. 

Much of the time you had to be switched to someone else and quite often the line dropped.  

If you only had one ATT service, the maddening thing was their totally pathetic automated system. If you had three as we did, good luck.

Waiting for Godot

Meanwhile, waiting for 5G is much like waiting for Godot in most of the country.

But at least I am no longer suffering with multiple ATT packages.

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