Target and Best Buy join Sprint on iPhone discounting fun

Target and Best Buy join Sprint on iPhone discounting fun
It’s no surprise to regular readers that there is a new iPhone coming next month. It’s apparently not a surprise to the big box retailers either, as Best Buy and Target have followed Sprint’s lead and are now offering generous discounts on the iPhone 4 and 4S. The firesale started a week ago when Sprint started discounting the iPhone 4S and waiving its activation fee for a whopping $86 in savings. That was followed by Apple itself, where leaked internal papers showed that Apple Stores would offer price matching on published discounts.

Target is selling the 16 GB version of the iPhone 4S for as low as $149.99 on contract now, and Best Buy is starting to promote their discounted iPhone 4, which they are offering for $50 on contract. Of course once the new iPhone starts shipping those deals won’t seem to keen anymore, as Apple’s usual pricing strategy suggests that the iPhone 4 would drop down to free on contract (replacing the iPhone 3GS) and the iPhone 4S would drop down to $99, although it will most likely be the 8 GB model.

Discounting of iPhone models is starting significantly earlier this year than in past years; it’s not clear if that’s because retailers have learned from past releases that they need more time to clear out stock, or if Apple is actually encouraging this to help stave off Android's rapidly growing market share as sales of the current iPhone slow down. Regardless of what the reasoning, the real cautionary note here is that renewing your contract now to take advantage of those deals means you will already be locked in in another month or so when Apple’s shiny new iDevice is released.

So if you were just waiting for a price drop now is probably the time, but if you are the type to suffer buyer’s remorse when new products launch, you might want to sit tight and see what September brings.

Update: We've been contacted by a Target Mobile employee that clarified that Target's now selling the 16 GB iPhone 4S for AT&T for $149.99, while the Verizon version sells for $179.99.

source: AllThingsD via Apple Insider

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6 Comments

1. Cyan3boN

Posts: 446; Member since: Feb 23, 2012

Even someone with a brain the size of a peanut will wait this out and buy the next iphone.

2. phitch

Posts: 214; Member since: Mar 06, 2012

Oh boy an iPhone... yippie. Wait let me s**t myself first.

3. Chasers

Posts: 21; Member since: Nov 27, 2011

Agreed, if almost feel bad for customers that are purchasing the 4s. its a 3 year old phone and people are still paying $149 for it. Also Radio Shack has been selling iphone 4s for $149 since May. and the iphone 4 is $49.99 there as well

4. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

wooo hoo.. a phone with 3 yr old technology and a 3.5 inch screen is on sale!! :)

5. Sackboy117

Posts: 178; Member since: Oct 17, 2011

According to taco, a smartphone that gets discounted becomes "cheap and buggy".

6. dphillips41

Posts: 3; Member since: Aug 14, 2012

I preordered an IPHONE5 on Saturday, Sept. 15 at 5:30 p.m. (I couldn't go on Friday because of work) at Target Mobile which is owned by Radio Shack. Did my preorder come on Sept. 21....Excuse is Radio Shack didn't buy enough, not that they ran out. No wonder why this company is in dire financial straits. Can't even do the biggest release of the year right!!!!!

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