11:32 am December 15, 2012, by Christopher Seward
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Walmart has slashed the price on Apple’s newest iPhone, which some observers call a curious move so soon after the phone’s recent launch.
The retailer cut the price of the 16 GB iPhone 5 to $127 from $189 for a 33 percent discount. Purchasers must agree to a two-year contract with AT&T, Verizon or Sprint. The 16 GB iPhone 4S was reduced to $47 from $89.97 with a contract.
The offers are only available in stores, and not online. Other retailers are offering the iPhone at $50 discounts.
The competition to get smartphones, tablets and other digital devices into the hands of holiday shoppers is at a fever pitch among manufacturers, retailers and wireless carriers in the biggest shopping season of the year. AT&T has knocked $100 off all its tablets, including the iPad and new iPad Mini, until the end of the year with a two-year contract. The promotion, however, isn’t extended to smartphones.
The deep discount at Walmart, which also cut the price of the iPad, is somewhat surprising, according to a Los Angeles Times report. It suggested that either the retailer is subsidizing the phone itself to get more shoppers into its stores or its concerned that Apple’s smartphone and tablet sales will slow after a Wall Street analyst this week said he expected 5 million fewer phones to be sold over the next three quarters than previously estimated.
UBS analyst Steven Milunovich expressed concerns that production will not be as strong as originally expected, iPhone 5 sales will not be as strong as the iPhone 4S in China and that the iPad Mini “may be cannibalizing the larger iPad.”
Apple has not commented on the speculation.
Would such a price reduction on an iPhone prompt you to give the smartphone a try and commit to a two-year contract?
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