Last Friday, when the iPhone X became available for preorder, would-be Best Buy customers found that to buy the phone upfront through the retailer, they would have to pay $ 100 more than what Apple itself was charging. Rather than $ 999 or $ 1,149 depending on what amount of storage was wanted, Best Buy was charging $ 1,099 and $ 1,249. Now, as Bloomberg reports, Best Buy has stopped selling the iPhone X upfront and is only offering it through carrier-specific billing plans.
Last week when customers began complaining about the increased prices of the already expensive phones, a Best Buy spokesperson told Bloomberg, “Our prices reflect the fact that no matter a customer’s desired plan or carrier, or whether a customer is on a business or personal plan, they are able to get a phone the way they want at Best Buy. Our customers have told us they want this flexibility and sometimes that has a cost.” They added that having multiple purchasing options “has a cost” and the different prices were a reflection of that.
The customer backlash appears to have had an effect. “Although there was clearly demand for the un-activated iPhone X, selling it that way cost more money, causing some confusion with our customers and noise in the media,” a Best Buy spokesperson told Bloomberg today. “That’s why we decided a few days ago to only sell the phone the traditional way, through installment billing plans.” Now, customers can only get the iPhone X from Best Buy if they do so through Verizon’s, AT&T’s or Sprint’s plans.
Apple’s iPhone X hits stores on November 3rd.
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Traditionally, new iPhones sell pretty well in their first few months — often outperforming the previous model’s sales during the same quarter. That might not be the case with Apple’s latest handset: according to Nikkei, sluggish sales are forcing the company to cut back production of iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus devices. Based on data received from suppliers, Nikkei expects Apple to slow stock production by about 10 percent.
Apple saw an early sign of this reported slowdown in March, when its Q2 earnings showed that while iPhone 6S upgrades were outpacing the previous year, they still weren’t up to snuff with sales from users who upgraded to the iPhone 6 is 2014. It’s too early to say if the iPhone 7’s slower sales are enough to make it the company’s first device not to outsell the previous model, but we’ll know soon enough: Apple’s next quarterly earnings are set to drop sometime at the end of next month.
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If you’ve ever wanted to buy an iPhone straight from Apple but thought that brand new unlocked models were out of your reach, you’re in luck. Apple has started selling refurbished iPhones in its US online store, with hefty discounts depending on what you want to buy. An unlocked 16GB iPhone 6s is selling for $ 449, or $ 80 off the usual price; splurge on a 64GB iPhone 6s Plus and you’ll shell out $ 589, or $ 110 less than usual. The iPhone SE and iPhone 7 are absent, but that’s not surprising given that owners have only had them for several months at best.
This won’t be as big a bargain as you’d get by purchasing an iPhone through a used goods site, an auction or a friend. However, you’ll get both a year-long warranty and the knowledge that there won’t be any rude surprises when you open the box. In short: if the thought of shopping on eBay or Swappa makes you nervous, this is your best bet.
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