When Apple revealed the iPhone 5S as its flagship iPhone for 2013-2014 this week, it said prices would start at $199. It also announced its new cheaper mid-range phone, the iPhone 5C, would start at $99. Walmart has just announced how it plans to sell Apple's iPhones for even less.
Walmart's iPhone 5S prices start at $189 for a 16GB unit in any of the three colors on a two-year contract. The phone will be available on launch day, September 20th, which suggests Apple has a very aggressive distribution plan in place. Walmart customers can also wait until September 21st and trade in their current phone to achieve discounts on this price.
The iPhone 5C will be sold in all five launch colors at a discounted price of $79, and Walmart is taking part in the pre-order program which begins this Friday, September 13th. Walmart stresses that pre-orders are on a first come, first served basis--it expects the iPhone 5C to be very popular.
Perhaps more surprising than these discounts, which aren't typical for brand new Apple products, is that the stores will sell Apple's old iPhone 5 for $79, the same as the new iPhone 5C. These devices are on a "while supplies last" basis, however, as Apple is effectively discontinuing the device. The 4S, which Apple said would remain on sale for free alongside its new phones but only with an 8GB capacity, will sell at Walmart for $0.97 (yes, you read that correctly) and is available today. And if you want to buy a three-year-old-tech smartphone, the iPhone 4 will be sold for just 10 cents, and comes with a $100 gift card, which means the phone is effectively on sale for about minus $100.
The megastore is clearly doubling down on its iPhone sales efforts, including promoting a smartphone buy-back campaign, and hopes to attract foot traffic into its stores over the next several weeks thanks to this discounted pricing. But Apple's supply chain will have to keep up with the demand, and in the past this hasn't proved easy with customer requests outstripping the number of devices available for sale on launch.
[Image via Flickr user: Brave New Films]