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Carriers blame the iPhone for data caps and increased upgrade fees

Updated Dec 19th, 2018 8:31PM EST

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“Bruised” mobile carriers such as AT&T (T) and Verizon (VZ) are “fighting back” against Apple’s (AAPL) iPhone, despite the fact that the device has helped them eke out consistently higher average revenue per wireless subscribers since its launch, The Wall Street Journal reports. To hear the carriers tell it, the iPhone is a major inhibitor to their profits as last year they were “only” generating wireless service profit margins in the 38% to 42% range.

But ever since these beleaguered companies started “fighting back” by implementing data caps, increasing fees for device upgrades and implementing longer waiting periods before users can switch devices, they’ve seen their wireless service profit margins surge. AT&T reported a 45% margin in Q2 2012 and Verizon reported a record-high 49% margin.

Simply put, users shouldn’t expect their carriers to stop cranking up fees or do away with data caps anytime soon because such practices are making the carriers a lot of money.


Brad Reed
Brad Reed Staff Writer

Brad Reed has written about technology for over eight years at and Network World. Prior to that, he wrote freelance stories for political publications such as AlterNet and the American Prospect. He has a Master's Degree in Business and Economics Journalism from Boston University.