Why is Apple AXING iPhone Prices?

Earlier this week, there were reports that Sprint (NYSE:S) had dropped the price of the iPhone 4S with the apparent idea of getting rid of surplus stock. Not surprisingly, that move by the wireless operator quickly sparked speculation that it was preparing for an impending launch of the next-generation iPhone. Now, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) has added credence to the theory.

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While Apple officially maintains standard on-contract pricing on its website, an internal memo from the company to its retail stores authorizes them to match discounted prices from approved major retailers and carriers, according to MacRumors.

Store employees have been allowed to discount iPhone 4S and iPhone 4 models by $49.01 upon request to bring pricing down. Consumers will, in all probability, need to cite the source offering the lower pricing for Apple to honor the price match. According to the post on the blog, Apple specifically approves discounts offered by Sprint and retailers Best Buy (NYSE:BBY), Target (NYSE:TGT), and Radio Shack (NYSE:RSH).

It is being rumored that Apple will announce the so-called iPhone 5 at a company event on September 12.

Shares of Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) finished Friday at $621.70.

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