By JOANNA STERN
Just two weeks after hitting the market, Best Buy will begin offering a discount on Apple's iPhone 5c. From today, Oct. 3, to Monday, Oct. 7, the iPhone 5c will be available for $50.
According to Best Buy, customers will get a $50 gift card with the phone and apply that to the $99.99 device, bringing the phone cost down to $50. Best Buy will also offer the deal on Samsung Galaxy smartphones, including the $199 Samsung Galaxy S4, bringing the cost of the phone to approximately $150.
Best Buy has offered similar deals on Samsung and Apple handsets before, but not on Apple's latest iPhones. When asked about the reasons for the price drops, Best Buy said it was intended to drive traffic to those specific products.
"We view ourselves as a company that offers consumers something they can't get anywhere else -- all the phones, all the plans, all the carriers -- and look for any opportunity to delight our customers," read a statement by Shandra Tollefson, a Best Buy official.
However, Best Buy isn't the only retailer to drop the price of the 5c. Walmart launched the phone at $80, $20 less than Apple's set price of $100. Target has also offered the same discount on the new, colorful phone.
In contrast, the higher-end iPhone 5s, which has a better camera, processor and fingerprint sensor, has remained at a starting price of $199 with a two-year contract and has been sold out at various locations.
"I think the 5c has gotten overshadowed and, given that the 5s isn't available everywhere, this is a way to get people excited about the latest and greatest Apple product," Stephen Baker, vice president of industry analysis at NPD, told ABC News.
Apple did not respond to ABC News' request for comment on the Best Buy promotion or on the specific sales numbers of the iPhone 5c. The company said last week that it sold 9 million iPhones in the opening weekend but did not identify the breakdown of sales for each model.
Baker believes that the price drops fly in the face of the analysts who criticized the 5c's higher-than-expected price after Apple's release in September.
"When you really look underneath all of that chatter about the 5c being too expensive, costs are really fungible in smartphones," Baker said. "Smartphone end user pricing is never based on cost. It is reasonable to believe that Apple always intended the 5c to be their entry-level device but wanted to control when, where and by whom the product was discounted."
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