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AT&T, Verizon Battle To Win Back Smartphone Defectors

Dallas – A limited-time promotion announced today by AT&T gives consumers $300 if they switch from another carrier and buy a smartphone.

The promotion, available through AT&T stores and authorized retailers, matches a recent Verizon promotion that also offers $300 to consumers who switch.

The two carriers are in heated competition with T-Mobile and Sprint, both of which have launched aggressive price plans and promotions to rebuild their market shares.

In the first half, AT&T lost 460,000 postpaid phone subscribers, though it gained 1.31 million less-profitable postpaid tablet and computing-device net adds. Verizon lost 255,000 postpaid phone subscribers in its first quarter but gained 320,000 in the second quarter. It also posted large post-paid tablet net adds. For its part, T-Mobile gained 991,000 postpaid phone net adds in the first quarter and 760,000 postpaid phone net adds in the second quarter.

Under the AT&T deal, new AT&T subscribers can trade in an eligible smartphone and purchase any AT&T smartphone on an AT&T Next installment-payment plan to get $200 in credits through an in-store credit or AT&T promotion card. If the customer is switching to AT&T from another carrier and purchases a new smartphone on the Next program, they get a $100 bill credit on top of the $200.

The Verizon deal offers $200 in the form of a gift card to newcomers who trade in their existing smartphone and buy a new model on an installment-payment plan. Consumers also get a $100 bill credit. The carrier is promoting the deal via TV ads.

Separately, AT&T announced the Lumia 640 smartphone, available at $79 on an AT&T GoPhone prepaid plan, and the postpaid Sonim XP5 ruggedized feature phone, available for $99.99 with a two-year agreement.