T-Mobile, Sprint iPhone 7 pre-orders are ‘good sign’ for Apple, but Verizon and AT&T remain silent

T-Mobile US and Sprint both reported that their iPhone 7 pre-order sales were higher than in years’ past, a possible indication that the two carriers stand to gain customers as the latest Apple gadget goes on sale. However, AT&T and Verizon haven’t yet offered any insight into their own iPhone 7 momentum.

Specifically, Sprint said pre-orders of the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus “are up more than 375 percent in the first three days over last year.” For its part, T-Mobile said the gadget “has gone on to shatter all previous iPhone pre-order records at T-Mobile. On top of that, pre-orders from Friday through Monday were up nearly 4x compared to the next most popular iPhone – and Friday set a single day sales record for any smartphone ever in T-Mobile US history.”

“We believe early momentum is a good sign for AAPL,” wrote the analysts at Wells Fargo in a note to investors this morning following the pre-order announcements by Sprint and T-Mobile. “However, we believe multiple expansion will be limited given limited visibility and some concern into the March quarter and while we maintain our view that Street estimates for December quarter may be low, in part due to the extra week in the quarter, we do not believe there is material upside and expect the combination of these to result in AAPL shares being rangebound.”

The analysts also wrote that the strength of the iPhone 7 sales is “consistent” with the “aggressive carrier promotions” centered on the device. All four nationwide wireless carriers in the United States are offering a free iPhone 7 to new and existing customers who agree to trade in a functioning iPhone 6 and agree to a 24-month financing period. “Preorders at TMUS and Sprint may also be helped by larger subscriber bases versus previous year with TMUS’s subscriber base 31% greater than 2014 and S 3% higher than from 2015,” the Wells Fargo analysts noted.

Prior to the launch of the new iPhone, the analysts at New Street speculated that T-Mobile and Sprint had the most to gain from Apple’s latest smartphone. Specifically, the firm’s survey of 1,000 “demographically representative respondents” showed that fully 10 percent of respondents plan to switch from their current carrier to a new one in the next three to four months, largely due to a new iPhone.

In other iPhone 7 news, reviews of the gadget rolled in with generally positive remarks about the device, but many voiced concerns about Apple’s decision to replace the standard 3.5 mm headphone jack with a Lightening connector that also serves as a charging port.

Apple also today launched its app store for its iMessage service, which allows customers to purchase messaging offerings like stickers and other digital goodies. As VentureBeat pointed out, apps on the store are currently available from the likes of EasilyDo, OpenTable, Yelp, JibJab, Words with Friends, Square Cash and others.

Perhaps more interesting though is the result of the work on Apple’s iOS 10 between Apple and Cisco. The companies last year said they would partner on the platform for enterprise services, and Cisco said it now offers enterprises the ability to optimize their Wi-Fi networks for iPhones, as well as ways to prioritize their apps on Apple’s devices. “With iOS 10, we’ve improved the app experience on a Cisco network to ensure that even if the wireless network is congested with different app traffic, we can use new capabilities in iOS and the Cisco Wi-Fi network to prioritize the most critical apps and data over noncritical apps,” Cisco’s Jeff Reed wrote on the company’s website, adding that IT managers are empowered to simply “white list” or select the apps they want to prioritize over the regular traffic.

For more:
- see these two releases from Sprint and T-Mobile
- see these iPhone reviews

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