Market Overview

Retailers Vie for the Best iPhone 5C Discounts

Retailers Vie for the Best iPhone 5C Discounts

Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT) will sell the Apple (NASDQ: AAPL) iPhone 5C for $27 on Friday.

But the deal will only be offered to those who sign a two-year contract with Verizon (NYSE: VZ) or AT&T (NYSE: T) and does not apply to other carriers.

According to the LA Times, this is the lowest price any retailer has offered since the plastic iPhone was released on Sept. 20.

Thus far, Wal-Mart has offered the steepest discounts of any retailer. The company was the first to reduce the price of the iPhone 5C, bringing it down to $79 eight days before its release. On Black Friday, Wal-Mart lowered the price again, taking it down to $45 with a $75 gift card. In essence, the retailer paid customers with a $30 gift card ($75 gift card - $45 price = $30) to take home Apple's plastic device.

Other retailers have offered discounts and gift cards as well.

T-Mobile (NYSE: TMUSwas the first carrier to drop the contract-free price from $549 to $528.

Target (NYSE: TGT) is currently giving away a $50 gift card to those who sign a two-year contract and buy the device in store.

Best Buy (NYSE: BBY) isn't offering any gift cards this week, but the retailer has reduced the contract price to $49.99.

Related: Slideshow: Apple's 2014 Rumored Lineup

The iPhone 5S has enjoyed a handful of discounts (Best Buy is currently selling it for $124.99), but it's the iPhone 5C that has received all the attention in this regard.

Apple does not release specific sales data for individual models, but some analysts are convinced retailers are discounting the iPhone 5C to improve sales.

"I'm…puzzled that Apple wanted to price the iPhone 5C at the level it did even though it's more or less a replica of the year-old iPhone 5," ABG Sundal Collier analyst Per Lindberg recently told Benzinga. "That is probably the primary reason why that device is selling so poorly."

Global Equities Research analyst Trip Chowdhry has taken a different viewpoint on the matter. In September he told Benzinga the device was ideal for the 25-and-under crowd, including children.

"[Parents] said that whenever they get home, the kids take their iPhones," said Chowdhry. "Some put it in their mouths, some start playing with it -- it's very difficult to pull it out of their hands. But they're also worried; the current form factor of the iPhone 5 and iPhone 4S is not very safe for the children. Plastic is ideal for them."

Contrary to the negative news, BGR reported the iPhone 5C has been doing fairly well in Japan. And according to TechCrunch, the device's global sales might not be as bad as some had feared.

Disclosure: At the time of this writing, Louis Bedigian had no position in the equities mentioned in this report.

Louis Bedigian is the Senior Tech Analyst and Features Writer of Benzinga. You can reach him at louis(at)benzingapro(dot)com. Follow him @LouisBedigianBZ

Posted-In: ABG Sundal Collier Apple best buy BGR Global Equities ResearchNews Tech Interview Best of Benzinga


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