updated 01:28 pm EDT, Fri May 4, 2012
Discounts apply on store-to-store basis
(Updated with Walmart statement) The reported Walmart discounts on iPhones aren't in effect across the entire Walmart chain, reports observe. The Verge notes that it managed to find a Walmart in Austin with the same bargain, but four other US outlets had regular prices. 9to5Mac says it called 17 Walmarts around the US, none of which were offering discounts. Separate of these, though, one out of two Austin Walmarts was offering the deal, as well as one out of two stores in Edmond, though the Frontage Road location said the iPhone 4S was "$114 this morning, for a little while."
The inconsistency of sales suggests that Walmart is running a temporary promotion, likely tailored to regional demand. Some speculation has claimed that the sales could be foreshadowing a new iPhone, but Apple is not expected to ship a new device until the fall. No one has reported a new model going into production, and the iPhone 4S shipped last October, which would make a summer launch unusually quick.
Update: Walmart has now issued a statement claiming the discounts were a "pricing error in limited stores." The difference has "been addressed and normal prices are in effect," the retailer adds.