The New iPhones Will Be a Little Cheaper at Walmart

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Apple Introduces Two New iPhone Models At Product Launch
Justin Sullivan, Getty Images
If you're planning to buy one of Apple's (AAPL) new iPhones, you may want to consider getting it at Walmart (WMT). In a rare move, the retailer says it plans to sell both the iPhone 5S and the iPhone 5C at below-market prices.

The company announced this morning that the iPhone 5S, which will start at $199 at the Apple Store and all other outlets, will instead sell for $189 at Walmart. The 5C, which has a retail price of $99, will be available for just $79 at Walmart.

It's remarkably rare to see anyone dip below the suggested retail price on a marquee item like the new iPhone. Many manufacturers make retailers hew to what's known as minimum advertised pricing, preventing them from advertising that undercutting the competition and devaluing the product.
It's why discount retailers will sometimes refuse to show you the price of a product in their circulars, or why some online retailers refuse show you the price until you put an item in your shopping cart. It's also why retailers like to offer package deals on certain items during the holidays -- they're not allowed to discount the Nintendo system, but they can certainly offer the Nintendo system bundled with a free video game or a gift card.

As far as we know, Apple also has a minimum advertised price deal in place, so it's unclear how Walmart managed to get around it to charge less. It may just be a matter of Walmart throwing its weight around -- its status as the world's largest retailer gives it a lot of leverage in its dealing with suppliers, so perhaps Apple made a special exception.

Whatever the case, it's a win for Walmart shoppers. But it should be noted that this is a relatively modest discount, especially on the 5S (just 5 percent). And it looks even more insignificant when one considers the true cost of the phone: Add in the $90 or so a month for the bare minimum plan on Verizon (VZ), and you wind up paying upwards of $2,300 over the two-year contract. In that light, a $10 discount suddenly seems pretty paltry. Still, that's $10 you're not getting anywhere else.

The phones will go on sale Friday, Sept. 20. But if you wait a day, Walmart will let you trade in your old phone starting Saturday and put that value toward your purchase, which brings down the effective price even further.

Matt Brownell is the consumer and retail reporter for DailyFinance. You can reach him at Matt.Brownell@teamaol.com, and follow him on Twitter at @Brownellorama.

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jdykbpl45

Bruce Watson hates Wal-Mart! They don't pay but the minimum wage! Bruce is a writer for Daily Finance and AOL.

September 13 2013 at 5:24 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
crrunch

They're all overpriced - then there's the contract BS. Why are people willing to pay the price for a 'package' when most of it goes unused? Nuthin's that cool.

September 13 2013 at 1:44 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
ectullis

I saved $400K last week. I went to a Ferarri dealer and didn't buy anything.

September 12 2013 at 6:38 PM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply
yaketyyak48

This year I changed from the cell phone company I used for 10 years to metro pcs. I did this because I was able to get a Samsung Smart Phone for $50 and unlimited data, text, and talk for $50 a month. This phone has never dropped a call or anything. I love it. And my phone bill now is 1/3 of my old phone bill. (I do not work for metropcs...just a happy user).

September 12 2013 at 5:15 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Frederick

WalMart will not honor a "grandfathered" unlimited web access plan under AT & T. We went to purchase the i5 and WalMart's price was $139 plus a fee back in June 2013. The same phone was $199 at AT& T. So I left Walmart and went to our AT & T store. The grandfather clause was $30.00 a month and, to buy it at WalMart, the new web plan would be depending on usage. I calculated the new plan and it would have been $40-60 more a month. I based it on previous usage.

September 12 2013 at 4:29 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
David

Who cares!

September 12 2013 at 3:20 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
RLTJPS

Family members and their Children of teenage years may jump on this WalMart sale price when compared to Family Plans. I prefer the Samsung S4 offers at Metro Cell Phone for individuals and for USA Coverage rather than offer a Finger Print to the US Government Spy machines every time you make a call or Surf The Internet! Still nice of WalMart to jump at being No. 1 in retail.
John In CA

September 12 2013 at 2:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to RLTJPS's comment
Mac

You should loosen your tin foil hat.

September 12 2013 at 5:33 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply