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iPhone next month, and could be working with retailers to clear out its remaining inventory of the about-to-be-outdated model.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 17,067.56 -30.89 -0.18%
Nasdaq 4,598.19 17.92 0.39%
S&P 500 2,002.28 -1.09 -0.05%
Treasuries 2.42 0.08 3.24%
Data as of 1:54am ET
Company Price Change % Change
Bank of America Corp... 16.27 0.05 0.31%
Apple Inc 103.30 0.80 0.78%
Staples Inc 12.63 0.95 8.13%
Facebook Inc 76.68 1.86 2.49%
Intel Corp 34.57 -0.35 -1.00%
Data as of Sep 2

Sections

Georgia dealers say Tesla shouldn't sell its cars directly to consumers. It's also one of the most popular markets for electric vehicles. More

If approved by Los Angeles city council, the plan could raise wages for 567,000 workers by 2017. More

The latest celebrity photo hack shows your digital life doesn't end at your phone. If your stuff lives on "the cloud," you don't control the data. More

If approved by Los Angeles city council, the plan could raise wages for 567,000 workers by 2017. More

A scam where fraudsters impersonate IRS agents has now stolen $5 million from taxpayers, and this woman - who lost her entire life savings -- is just one of its victims. More

Market indexes 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. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.