updated 06:40 pm EST, Fri December 3, 2010
Radio Shack offers rare one-week iPhone sale
Radio Shack today detailed an extremely rare sale on iPhones. The retailer is expected to cut $50 off the prices of all new iPhones and should sell an iPhone 3GS for as little as $50, scaling up to $250 for a 32GB iPhone 4. Customers will also have the option of trading in a working iPhone 3G or 3GS for a $75 or $125 credit when upgrading to an iPhone 4, dropping the price to as little as $25 for a 16GB iPhone 4 and $125 for a 32GB model.
The deals will only last for one week, running from Saturday December 4 through to December 11.
Radio Shack's move is unusual as neither Apple nor other usual third-party retailers ever discount new iPhone purchases by more than a few dollars. Most discounts are limited to refurbished models. None of the involved companies have explained the discount and clarified whether or not it has Apple's official blessing. The deal may be an independent Radio Shack promotion to draw attention to its stores.
Both companies have interests in discounts. Radio Shack regularly drops prices on other smartphones and has a heavy focus this holiday on Android devices like the HTC Evo 4G and Samsung Transform. Apple meanwhile may be eager to spike iPhone sales as much as possible to beat Google and RIM, although its tight lock on retail pricing makes this less likely.
AT&T could have a similar interest since it may be aware of Verizon iPhone plans and trying to lock in as many customers as possible on contracts to make it difficult to switch.