US wireless carriers roll out free iPhone 7 offers

Close on the heels of Apple's official introduction of its next-generation iPhone - iPhone 7 - at a September 7 event, bigwig US wireless carriers have started rolling out a number of promotions around the forthcoming handset.

The rash of iPhone 7 promotions being rolled out by wireless carriers is an indication of the fact that the carriers are still keen on subsidizing the upcoming new iPhone, even though they otherwise push their customers into paying the full cost of high-end handsets.

The promotions which T-Mobile, Sprint and Verizon have rolled out around the new iPhone involve an offer which enables customers to get a free iPhone 7 when they exchange an older iPhone. Under the promotional offer, customers can get the 32GB model of iPhone 7 for free, when they trade it for an Phone 6 or 6s. Sprint is also accepting one of Samsung's newest Galaxy S7 handsets in exchange.

AT&T, meanwhile, had initially announced the free iPhone 7 deal only for its DirecTV customers, but has now opened it to everyone.

Against the backdrop of the carriers' iPhone 7 offers, Craig Moffett -- a telecom analyst with MoffettNathanson -- said that the launch of iPhone 7 gives carriers an opportunity to grab market share by enticing customers to switch providers; and added: "Subsidies are like crack. It is hard to resist the temptation of dangling a free iPhone in front of the customers."