With the wide array of cell phones offered in the digital market, customers are always searching for the best prices. Walmart has reduced the price of its 16 gigabyte iPhone 5 from $129 to $98. In order to receive this cheaper discount, customers are required to sign a contract with Verizon, AT&T, or Sprint. Apple is expected to unveil its newest version of the iPhone in September, so Wal-Mart is slashing prices to clear out inventory for the new product.       

Walmart is not alone with its idea to reduce iPhone costs. RadioShack is currently offering $50 off all iPhone purchases without the need to sign a contract. T-Mobile is offering the iPhone 5 as part of a 2 year contract for $149. Best Buy is offering $100 off the iPhone 5, but only if customers trade in their old iPhone. With all of these price reductions, it will be interesting to see who buys the more affordable iPhones versus the newer and more appealing iPhones.

Apple has a past history of releasing major products during the second week of September, so customers should remain aware that the new iPhone is on its way. The iPhone 5S is expected to have features such as a non-scratch polycarbonate shell, various case colors, and the new iOS 7 software. The iOS 7 software is unlike any previous versions of iOS due to its new design and new features, such as a Control Center that provides easy access to the settings menu.

Images of the iPhone 5S home button have emerged, suggesting that there may be a fingerprint scanner. The images reveal a close up of sensors and wiring that appear to be visibly different than those of the iPhone 5. The purpose of this would be to add an additional layer of security under the home button and to eliminate the “swipe to unlock” feature that has existed on the phone for years. It could also prove useful in enterprise settings, where companies using the phones can better guard against IP theft in the event of a lost phone.

In addition to the iPhone 5S, the iPhone 5C will be offered at a more affordable cost in a selection of colors (blue, green, yellow, and white). Experts speculate that this plastic iPhone may replace older versions of the iPhone, such as the iPhone 4 or 4S.

From a strategic sourcing point of view, it will be interesting to see whether consumers are willing to take advantage of retailer discounts to save money for satisfactory, but not brand new features.  
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Sarah Tuchinsky

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