Wal-Mart slashes iPhone price to $97

By Chavon Sutton, staff reporter


NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Wal-Mart, the world's largest retailer, plans to slash the price of Apple's 16GB 3GS iPhone to $97 beginning Tuesday.

Apple (AAPL, Fortune 500) is widely expected to unveil a brand-new iPhone next month, and could be working with retailers to clear out its remaining inventory of the about-to-be-outdated model.

At the new price, customers will save $100 on Apple's smart phone, which currently sells for $199. The deal requires that the phone be purchased with a two-year contract from AT&T, the iPhone's exclusive service provider.

"It is our commitment to always lead on price," Mehrdad Akbar, Wal-Mart's (WMT, Fortune 500) senior category director for wireless, in a prepared statement about the price change.

Apple sold 8.3 million iPhones last quarter, more than twice the amount sold during the same period a year ago.

Wal-Mart's pre-Memorial Day price whack comes as technology giants such as Google (GOOG, Fortune 500), Research in Motion (RIM) and Hewlett-Packard (HPQ, Fortune 500), which recently snapped up Palm, vie for top dog status in the smart phone market. Industry analysts say that worldwide smart phone sales topped 54 million units in the first quarter, up nearly 49% from a year ago.

At $97, Wal-Mart's price slightly undercuts the $99 price tag several analysts anticipated for the remaining iPhone 3GS stock. When consumers get sight of a new iPhone model on the horizon, sales of the existing model typically falls off sharply.

In the furor surrounding last month's theft of a new iPhone prototype, Apple filed legal documents claiming that leaked details of the new model would be "immensely damaging" to the company because "people that would have otherwise purchased a currently existing Apple product would wait for the next item to be released."

-CNNMoney.com senior writer Parija Kavilanz contributed to this report To top of page

Frontline troops push for solar energy
The U.S. Marines are testing renewable energy technologies like solar to reduce costs and casualties associated with fossil fuels. Play
25 Best Places to find rich singles
Looking for Mr. or Ms. Moneybags? Hunt down the perfect mate in these wealthy cities, which are brimming with unattached professionals. More
Fun festivals: Twins to mustard to pirates!
You'll see double in Twinsburg, Ohio, and Ketchup lovers should beware in Middleton, WI. Here's some of the best and strangest town festivals. Play
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 17,828.24 0.49 0.00%
Nasdaq 4,791.63 4.31 0.09%
S&P 500 2,067.56 -5.27 -0.25%
Treasuries 2.19 -0.04 -1.79%
Data as of 1:31pm ET
Company Price Change % Change
Kinder Morgan Inc 41.35 -0.97 -2.29%
Halliburton Co 42.20 -5.14 -10.86%
General Electric Co 26.49 -0.38 -1.41%
Bank of America Corp... 17.04 -0.07 -0.41%
Apple Inc 118.93 -0.07 -0.06%
Data as of 1:02pm ET

Sections

OPEC wants to squeeze U.S. shale oil producers by forcing prices even lower. It's a move even Tony Soprano would be proud of. More

Colorado's marijuana stores are following the lead of other retailers and offering big deals on pot. More

Natalie's Cakes and More has raised $84,000 through GoFundMe after protests trash store. More

Retailers are promising big deals this Black Friday, but are the savings actually worth the shopping mayhem? Test your deal-sniffing skills. More

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer.

Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved.

Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved.

Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2014 and/or its affiliates.