updated 11:30 am EDT, Tue August 2, 2011
Vendors start clearing stock ahead of refresh
Retail chains are beginning to discount the iPhone 4, reports note. Radio Shack has a sale running through Saturday, in which 16 and 32GB models are priced at $170 and $270 on contract instead of their regular $199 and $299. A $100 trade-in credit for previous iPhones applies, potentially lowering the cost of an iPhone 4 to just $70.
In at least some Target stores, such as ones in Chicago, the retailer is now selling 16 and 32GB iPhone 4s for $150 and $250. Some rumors had hinted that costs might differ based on the choice of AT&T or Verizon as a carrier, but Chicago phone sales representatives say the pricing applies universally. Unlike Radio Shack, Target is offering trade-in credit for various kinds of mobile electronics, as well as games.
Given historical patterns, the cuts strongly suggest that retailers are trying to clear out stock ahead of one or more new iPhone models. New hardware is expected to ship in September or October. A flagship design could be accompanied by a cheaper but still new model, intended for the prepaid market.