Reuters reports that Wal-Mart (WMT) announced plans Friday to sell Apple (AAPL)’s 16 gigabyte iPhone 5 and iPhone 4S for $127 and $47, versus an original price of $189.97 and $87.97, respectively. Along with the deal on the iPhones, Wal-Mart is also selling the third-generation with Retina display and WiFi iPad starting at $399, a $100 discount from standard pricing. To sweeten the deal, beginning December 17 the retailer said the third-gen iPad will also come with a $30 iTunes gift card.[via Reuters] “We worked together with them on this,” a Wal-Mart spokeswoman said on Friday, pointing out that the discounts were arranged with Apple. “They are a great partner, ” she added.
While discounts aren’t unheard of this time of year, it is fair to say that by agreeing to offer aggressive discounts for its premium products to attract holiday shoppers, Apple is in a way admitting that by selling the latest version of iPhone at a third off the original price less than three months after its release, and most significantly, in the middle of holiday shopping season, that there is simply not enough demand out there for its premium gadgets at the given price point.
Of course, as LA Times notes, there is always the possibility of Wal-Mart “subsidizing the phone itself to get more shoppers in its store, but you have to wonder if iPhone sales aren’t what Wal-Mart or Apple were expecting.”
Whatever the case, shoppers can only get these discounts for 30 days in about 3,000 of the retail giant’s stores as Walmart has not made them available online.
Best Buy (BBY) and Radio Shack (RSH) also have discounts on the iPhone 5 and iPhone 4S models, offering as much as $50 off regular prices, along with gift certificates.
For Wal-Mart shoppers the price cuts are valid with a two-year contract from wireless carriers Verizon (VZ), Sprint (S) and AT&T (T).