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Big Market For Black Friday At Wireless Carriers' Stores

Phones are popular holiday gifts and wireless carriers are huge retailers of them -- they sell about two out of three smartphones in the U.S.

So it’s likely the phone store will be one of the busier ones you may wander into in the next month or so, especially so on Black Friday weekend.

Some new phones introduced recently should bring some customers in to look, if not to buy.

With the four major carriers, the deals and terms might differ, but the brands are pretty much alike. It’s a Samsung and Apple world, after all.


Verizon

Verizon’s big attractions include a handful of Android phones it’s discounting for $400 less on Black Friday itself, with no trade-in required.The deal is half as good -- $200 off -- on Saturday and Sunday. The sale applies to Google Pixel 3, Pixel 3 XL, Samsung Galaxy S9, S9 Plus and Note 9, and LG V40.

For Apple users, the iPhone X goes for $400 less, also without a trade-in, for Black Friday only. Then, all weekend, Verizon offers $300 off on that phone when customers add a new line, or $100 when they trade in an “eligible”phone on an upgrade.

The other deal is one that should catch some attention from manufacturers, too. Verizon is giving a $150 discount on the new Palm if customers buy it on a two-year contract or device payment, but only if they buy a second eligible phone.

That’s because the new, tiny Palm is intended to be a second phone for times when users don’t want the distraction of a full-featured smartphone.

The Palm is the first smartphone product from TCL that has been sold in any carrier’s store --  an important way to get the brand more widely known.

AT&T

The carrier is offering some buy one/get one free deals on the IPhone 8, 8 Plus, X, XS and XS Max. When you buy one iPhone using the carrier’s installment plan, AT&T banks $750 in credit toward the other one. You also have to buy a new line of service.

A better deal might be AT&T’s generous discount -- 75% off -- on the Samsung Galaxy Note 9.

AT&T will also give deals LG K30, Moto 6, Samsung Galaxy J3 or J7, or an iPhone 6S with 32 GB.

On Thursday, AT&T begins discounts on Google Home speakers and Orbi Home WiFi systems.  

T-Mobile

The so-called UnCarrier that likes to think it zigs when everyone else is zagging, started the holiday season last week with its Magenta Friday, referencing its corporate color.

So Black Friday, in this case, comes late.

For T-Mobile, though, all of its deals require a trade-in of an eligible phone and commitment to a new line, and sometimes two.

With that caveat, it is offering an iPhone XR or iPhone 8 or 8 Plus for free, or $750 off the iPhone X, XS or XS Max.

Likewise, for Android users, T-Mobile offers the Galaxy S9, S8 or LG G7 Thin Q  for free, or the S9, S9 Plus or Note, or Galaxy S8 Active for $750 off.

At T-Mobile, shoppers can pick up the new OnePlus 6T, for free, too. T-Mobile is the only store that sells the OnePlus line, which works on T-Mobile or Verizon systems. If you take the free deal, of course, you’ll be using T-Mobile.

T-Mobile  also has deals on Apple and Samsung smartwatches.

Sprint

Like some of the other carriers, Sprint’s deals encourage a customer to open a second line.

For example, it will provide an iPhone XR with 64GB if customers lease an iPhone XR, XS, XS Max or X.  There’s the same deal with iPhone 8 and 8 Plus.

For Android users, Sprint offers the Galaxy Note 9 for $20 a month, an 18-month lease and a new line, or the Galaxy S9 for $5, or Galaxy S9 Plus with the same stipulations.

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