Discount retailer Walmart (NYSE:WMT) has revealed that it is dropping its already low prices on Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhones. Beginning on Friday, Walmart stores will sell the 16GB iPhone 5S for $99, while the 16GB iPhone 5C will sell for $29. The new prices are a significant reduction from Walmart’s previous prices on the 16GB iPhone 5S and 16GB iPhone 5C, which used to cost $149 and $49, respectively. According to Engadget’s sources, Walmart’s new iPhone price reductions are permanent, unlike previous promotions.
Not surprisingly, Walmart’s iPhone prices were already some of the lowest among Apple’s various retail partners and the recent price cut may spark a similar round of iPhone discounts at other retailers. Walmart’s prices also give it a significant pricing advantage over the prices offered through Apple’s online store and its brick-and-mortar Apple Stores. Apple currently sells the 16GB iPhone 5S for $199, while the 16GB iPhone 5C sells for $99. This means that Walmart’s entry-level iPhone 5S price is 50 percent less than Apple’s, while its basic iPhone 5C price is about 70 percent less.
Besides slashing prices on the entry-level iPhone models, Walmart also reduced the price of the 32GB iPhone 5S to $199 and the price of the 32GB iPhone 5C to $129. According to CNET, the retail giant is also offering a modest discount on the fifth-generation 16GB iPod touch with a new price of $195. Apple recently dropped the price of the 16GB iPod touch to $199 from the previous price of $229.
It should be noted that Walmart’s reduced iPhone prices are only available in-store and that buyers must sign a standard two-year service contract with one of Walmart’s carrier partners in order to qualify. According to Walmart’s website, the $99 16GB iPhone 5S is available with a two-year contract from AT&T (NYSE:T), Sprint (NYSE:S), US Cellular (NYSE:USM), or Verizon (NYSE:VZ). The $29 16GB iPhone 5C is available with a two-year contract from either AT&T or Verizon.
Besides offering the latest iPhones for an unusually low price, Walmart’s sale also heralds the upcoming launch of Apple’s rumored iPhone 6 models. Retailers such as Walmart usually introduce iPhone sales promotions ahead of Apple’s new product launches in order to reduce its stock of older models. Apple is widely expected to release at least one of its new iPhone 6 models in September. According to an unconfirmed rumor from China’s Tencent Digital News, Apple’s iPhone 6 will be released on Friday, September 19.
Multiple media outlets and analysts have predicted that Apple’s iPhone 6 will be available in two larger screen sizes of 4.7 inches and 5.5 inches. Apple’s current flagship iPhone 5S only has a screen size of 4 inches and the upcoming screen size boost is expected to drive a spike in iPhone upgrades. Although Apple has not revealed any details about the next iPhone iterations, some industry watchers have predicted that the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 will come with a $100 price premium, which means that the subsidized entry-level model could sell for $299, rather than the standard $199 price. However, for users who don’t care to hold out for a larger screen size, Walmart’s new iPhone prices offer a perfect opportunity to pick up one of the latest iPhone models at a substantial discount.
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