updated 09:35 pm EDT, Mon May 24, 2010
iPhone price cut signals new model ahead
Walmart tonight said it would slash the price of a 16GB iPhone 3GS to $97 as of Tuesday. The price is less than half the $197 the retailer asks today and comes just two weeks before WWDC, when Apple is expected to unveil its next iPhone. Walmart's senior wireless director Mehrdad Akbar wouldn't be specific on the reasons but reiterated that the chain would "always lead on price."
The official cut follows on the heels of claims that Apple was stopping iPhone 3G shipments to AT&T. Analysts and other observers expect Apple to make the 16GB iPhone 3GS its new base model, although the next-generation iPhone has been seen with 16GB onboard. If so, Apple could for the first time have similar capacities for its $99 and $199 phones, splitting them up primarily in extra features like the cameras and screen rather than storage.
Apple itself hasn't made mention of a price cut but usually reserves any announcements of its own for Tuesday of a given week.