iPhone 4/4s markdowns have started to show up in anticipation of the iPhone 5's launch. Do yourself a favor and fight the urge to take advantage of the lowered prices.
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It's begun. The iPhone 4 and 4S are being sold at a discount by some retailers and wireless network operators. The discount isn't much, just $50 if you're willing to purchase either older iPhone with a new contract. But don't do it. Don't help Apple, the retailers, and network operators clear their inventory. Wait for the iPhone 5.
Sprint began offering the iPhone at a discount August 7. It dropped the price of the iPhone 16 GB to $149.99, 32 GB to $249.99, and 64 GB to $349.99. That's cheaper compared to what's being offered by AT&T and Verizon Wireless, which are still selling the iPhone at full price.
Electronics retailers are also discounting the iPhone, including Best Buy and RadioShack. Best Buy is offering the iPhone 4 for just $49.99. RadioShack has been discounting the iPhone for months, and is generally knocking $50 off the purchase price of the various models.
If you don't have access to a Sprint store, the discount is also available at Apple Store's but only if you bring in some photographic proof of the discount being offered by Sprint.
For Pete's sake, don't fall for the lowered pricing. You'll be kicking yourself in a month or two. Here's why.
The iPhone 5 is expected to offer a significant number of improvements over the current models. Remember, the iPhone 4 is 14 months old at this point, and the iPhone 4S is 10 months old--and uses a design that's 14 months old. That's ancient history in the smartphone space, where technology advances on a near-daily basis.
The iPhone 5's key feature will be a larger display. The iPhone 4 and 4S may have the Retina Display, but it's still a puny (by today's standards) 3.5 inches in size. In addition to the improved screen, the new iPhone is believed to include LTE 4G. I've been using LTE on various devices for about 18 months. Believe me when I say the speed differences are real worth the upgrade.
Other improvement said to be hitting the iPhone include a faster processor, better camera, and a thinner profile.
These upgrades are surely worth the extra $50 you'll spend above the sale cost of the iPhone 4/4S. Though pricing hasn't been revealed by Apple or its partners, pricing for the iPhone has been very consistent over the years. It would be shocking for Apple to raise the prices now, so we can expect price points for the 16-GB, 32-GB, and 64-GB variants of the iPhone 5 to match those of its predecessors.
Finally, the wait won't be long. Apple is expected to debut the device as soon as September 12, with general availability expected in late September.
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