Apple wants its products in as many customers' hands as possible this holiday season -- hence the big iPhone, iPad and iTunes push in foreign countries recently -- which is why Walmart struck a deal with Apple to sell the company's popular sixth-generation smartphone through its big box retail stores around the country at significantly discounted prices.
Announced via the company's Facebook page on Friday, Walmart is now selling the iPhone 5 at $127 -- a $72 discount from the $199 original price -- and the iPhone 4S at just $47 -- a $52 discount off the original $99 price. The retail giant is also selling Apple's obsolete third-generation iPad, also known as iPad 3, for just $399.
The discounted iPhone 5 and iPhone 4S are only valid with a two-year contract or eligible smartphone upgrade at Wal-Mart.
Apple does not give discounts to its products often but has changed its tune during the holiday season to attract more customers. Walmart's discounts are by far the best yet; on Dec. 7, RadioShack and Target Mobile (owned by RadioShack) announced they would offer $20 discounts off any iPhone 5 purchase with an AT&T contract, from Dec. 5 to Dec. 15.
Best Buy offers a slightly better discount deal -- a $50 discount for any iPhone 5 with a two-year contract on any carrier, including AT&T, Verizon Wireless or Sprint. There was even a brief sale where Best Buy offered the $50 discounted iPhone 5 with an extra 5,000 Best Buy Reward Zone points, which is equivalent to a $100 Best Buy Gift Card, but that promotion ended on Dec. 19.
Across all retailers, Walmart's iPhone and iPad discounts are by far the best right now. Even the speedy third-generation iPad, which Apple is no longer selling now that the fourth-generation iPad was released in October, is being sold for $399 in a "closeout sale."
"Walmart works closely with Apple to secure some of the strongest allocations of their products," said Sarah Spencer, a spokesperson for Wal-Mart. "That being said, inventory is [on] a first come first serve basis, so we recommend customers come early to secure their Apple product. We will not offer rain checks, but customers should know we will be refreshing our inventory on an ongoing basis."
Wal-Mart also promises to include a $30 iTunes Gift Card with every iPad purchased from the store.
Even though Wal-Mart's prices are unbeatable, even by Apple, RadioShack is still offering price matching with its "Mobile Low Price Guarantee," which may mean that the retail store would match any of Walmart's discounts upon request.
Apple hopes to achieve record-breaking revenue this quarter thanks to an all-new lineup of iOS and Mac devices, as well as an unprecedented push to get all of these new products into as many foreign markets as possible. The company just launched the iPhone 5 in 33 countries last Friday, and yet, the company's stock price continues to drop. Company shares dropped on Friday morning from $529 apiece to just $507; in mid-afternoon trading on Monday, the stock is hovering around $505 and $507 a pop.
About The iPhone 4S
Apple's iPhone 4S measures 4.5 inches tall, 2.3 inches wide, and 0.37 inches deep. The iPhone 4S has identical dimensions to the iPhone 4 in height, width, and depth; however, the mute switch and two volume buttons have been slightly moved to accommodate the phone's dual-antenna system.
The iPhone 4S is powered by the dual-core A5 chip, which clocks download speeds twice as fast as the iPhone 4. The phone also features an 8-megapixel camera, dual-core graphics and a new alternating antenna system for better sound quality and reception, and it is the first iPhone to support Apple's personal assistant Siri, which helps the user create and send texts and e-mails, set up meetings and reminders, get directions, call friends, play music and more.
Apple is still selling the iPhone 4S for $99, while Wal-Mart is selling the phone for $47.
About The iPhone 5
The iPhone 5, Apple’s sixth-generation smartphone, is 18 percent thinner than its predecessor (the iPhone 4S) at just 7.6mm, and it is 20 percent lighter than the 4S at 112 grams. The iPhone 5 features a bigger 4-inch screen with a 16:9 aspect ratio for watching videos in full widescreen, and Apple has again made its new in-cell display a Retina display, with a screen resolution of 1136 x 640 screen and a density of 336 ppi.
The iPhone 5’s screen, according to an extensive analysis by Amherst, N.H.-based DisplayMate, is actually a “significant improvement” over the smaller screens in the iPhone 4S and 4 and is also substantially brighter and more accurate than the screen in Samsung’s Galaxy S3, which many consider to be the greatest rival to Apple and the iPhone 5. Read the full lab comparison here.
The iPhone 5 is also the first Apple phone to feature the high-speed Long-Term Evolution, or LTE, network. Currently, the global LTE carriers supporting this phone include AT&T, Bell, Sprint, Verizon, Telus, Deutsche Telekom, Telstra, EE and SingTel -- as well as a number of regional carriers like Cricket, C Spire, Nex-Tech Wireless, MTA Solutions, nTelos and a slew of others.
The general theme of the iPhone 5 is speed: In addition to support for the LTE network, the iPhone 5 also features a custom-built A6 processor, which actually boasts more than twice the overall processing performance of any iOS device that has come before it, including the third-generation iPad, as well as newly enhanced camera infrastructure and the new 8-pin Lightning dock connector. The iPhone 5 is powered by iOS 6, which features more than 200 new features for the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad, including several enhancements to its virtual personal assistant, Siri, the handy application for movie tickets and coupons called Passbook, and the completely redesigned -- albeit half-baked -- Maps application from Apple.
Apple sells the iPhone 5 in two color combinations -- black and slate, or white and silver -- and at three different storage capacities: The cheapest iPhone 5 comes with 16 GB of space and sells for $199, and after that, it’s $299 for 32 GB and $399 for 64GB. Apple will likely sell the phone at a slightly more expensive price point in China, as it does with several other countries in Europe and South America.
About The iPad 3
The third-generation iPad, also known as "iPad 3," comes with a 5-megapixel rear side camera, a frontside VGA camera for FaceTime, and a dual-LED backlit system that powers a 2048 x 1536 Retina display with 3.1 million total pixels -- roughly 1 million more pixels than an HDTV.
The iPad 3 runs on the A5X chip, which is a dual-core processor with quad-core graphics to power the brilliant Retina Display. The iPad 3 manages to maintain 10 hours of solid battery life, including 9 hours on 4G LTE.
Speaking of which, the iPad 3 was the first Apple device to feature LTE, the high-speed "Long-Term Evolution" network.
The iPad 3 is no longer available through Apple, but Wal-Mart is still selling the tablet for $399.
Apple sold 26.9 million iPhone units and 14 million iPad units in Q4 2012.