Wal-Mart Throws Down Discount Gauntlet in iPhone 5S Price Competition

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Source: Apple.comThe Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) product pricing war that kicks off between various major retailers every time the California-based company releases a new product shows no sign of slowing down, even as the latest iPhone models are approaching six months in age. As usual, discount retail giant Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) is leading the price battle with a new iPhone sales promotion.

As reported by CNN Money, Walmart announced this week that it is dropping its 16GB iPhone 5S price from $145 to $119 and the 16GB iPhone 5C price from $45 to $29. However, as with any sales promotion, there are a few stipulations. Customers must sign up for a standard two-year service contract with AT&T (NYSE:T) or Verizon (NYSE:VZ) in order to qualify for the discounted prices. Wal-Mart’s latest discount makes its iPhone 5S price even lower than Best Buy’s (NYSE:BBY) $149.99 iPhone 5S sale price.

As noted by CNN Money, Wal-Mart’s heavily discounted iPhones may stoke rumors of an early iPhone 6 release date, since sales often herald new product arrivals. In a recent note to investors obtained by StreetInsider, Mizuho Securities analyst Abhey Lamba predicted that Apple would introduce its next-generation iPhone in the summer, instead of the usual fall launch. However, it should be noted that most other industry watchers believe Apple will follow the usual product refresh cycle and release the next iPhone model in the fall.

Customers can further reduce the amount of cash they drop on a new iPhone by trading in one of their old devices. Both Wal-Mart and Best Buy offer gift cards for customers’ old cell phones, tablets, and other devices.

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