updated 03:00 pm EDT, Mon July 4, 2011
Verizon may cut iPhone 4 to 151 to spur sales
Verizon may be instituting a rare price slash on a current-generation iPhone if a sighting is accurate. A screen cap showing what appears to be a hint as to a Verizon site redesign shows the 16GB iPhone 4 dropping to $151 on a contract. The HTC Thunderbolt could see an even greater leap and go from its contract price to free if VZBuzz is correct, although it would officially start at a higher $300 versus today's $250.
The page makes it clear that the pricing is for a new device and not a refurbished model like the Droid X.
None of the details are confirmed, including when the promo would start if real or when it would end. Verizon may wait until the site redesign itself is live before invoking any promos. Its earliest opportunity to do so could be this week with talk of the Droid 3 launch and capped data plans arriving on or before July 14.
Apple has allowed price cutting before, most notably at Radio Shack, but has virtually never let a partner cut a price on a new iPhone that wasn't part of an official cut. The Cupertino firm is well-known for keeping prices steady on products for virtually all of their lifecycles and cutting only when it's either not selling well or Apple is making way for a new model. With the iPhone 4 on a longer than usual cycle, a price drop could keep sales up until the anticipated September refresh.
The Thunderbolt's drop isn't clear, but it has sold in considerably more modest numbers than the iPhone at 260,000 units this winter versus Apple's 2.2 million. Poor battery life has been an ongoing problem on the power-hungry 4G phone and is only partly mitigated by extended battery packs.