Cowen & Company publishes their “Wireless Survey” each quarter in front of earnings. The report is taken from cross-tabulating the data from two or more questions from the 1,047 survey respondents and provides “a level of context that is helpful in understanding industry dynamics with a unique level of customer detail that is not easily seen in company reported results.” Here is the first of their Top 10 observations:
1) Phones being held for >2 years continues to rise. Similar to our prior survey, the percent of postpaid respondents holding their phone >2 years again grew and is currently at 29.4 percent vs. 23.0 percent two years ago (Figure 20). As we dig deeper into device finance plans, the >2 year growth is coming from subs labeled “Other” (which include subsidy/BYOD…[bring your own device]… subs as well as arguably those previously on an EIP who have since paid their phone off). However, unlike our prior survey, the >2 year growth is also coming from EIP respondents who may increasingly be subscribing to >24 month plans or still consider themselves EIP subs despite having already paid off the device (Figure 21). Holding phones longer is a trend we expect to continue to grow as a result of EIP adoption.
January 19, 2017