iPhone 5s discounts are already here
The iPhone 5s was just announced last week, but talk of discounts is already in the air. Walmart will slash prices on the iPhone 5s as early as September 20.
(Page 2 of 2)
After Walmart's initial preorder discount on the iPhone 5 in September of last year, we didn't see another deal on that model until the second week of December. At that time, Walmart (again!) stunningly announced that it would drop its in-store price on the iPhone 5 by $72, knocking it to $127, and that this pricing would last well into the new year. Two days later, Fry's Electronics one-upped Walmart (literally) by discounting the iPhone 5 by one more dollar, dropping it to $126.Skip to next paragraph
Best laptop deals: Speedy quad-core systems at unusually low prices
Editors' choice Disney digital camera, Lego sets from $17
In-app purchases: not popular with gamers
Looking for some new accessories? Check out these deals
Mt. Gox files for bankruptcy: what to keep in mind when using Bitcoin (+video)
Subscribe Today to the Monitor
However, last year, we didn't see the aggressive initial discount that we've already found from Sprint; while that offer is for new customers only, the promotion may put extra pressure on other resellers to compete. That said, we're predicting similar December discounts this year for contract-extension deals on the iPhone 5s. However, it's likely that additional retailers like Best Buy, Fry's, and Radio Shack will join in on the game, either offering a discount or charging full-price with a bundled gift card freebie. Expect these deals to be sprinkled throughout December and the first few weeks of January.
The Best Discounts Will Be In-Store Only
Back in 2012, when the iPhone 5 was getting slashed all over the place, analysts hypothesized that it was an indication that the phone was not selling as well as it had in past years. In hindsight, we know that the iPhone 5 was actually Apple's best-selling phone to date, so we feel a better explanation for those massive price cuts lies in the phrase "in-store."
Making these deals in-store only forces consumers to visit the retail locations, where there's a greater chance that they'll spend more money. Walmart et al have essentially turned the iPhone into what is known as a "loss leader," an attractive item with little to no profit margins that encourages further purchases. These retailers are betting that, once you're in their stores, you'll find a few other items that you'll want to purchase alongside your new phone — things with better profit margins. And even though Sprint's offer will theoretically be available online starting on September 20, the promotion is again being used as a lure — to get customers to start spending their money on contracts there, rather than with a different carrier.
Despite it being a clever marketing technique, iPhone deals are still excellent deals! While we've already seen some stunning discounts, expect more contract-extension deals to start popping up in December.
Jeff Somogyi is the media editor for Dealnews.com, where this article first appeared.