Sam's Club rumored to offer Apple's iPhone 4 at new low price of $147

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
A leaked internal memo from wholesaler Sam's Club shows that the company is set to offer Apple's latest-generation 16GB iPhone 4 for just $147 with a two-year AT&T contract.



In an internal memo leaked anonymously to Engadget, it appears Sam's Club will offer the 16GB iPhone 4 for $147 until Christmas day. The picture of the memo also mentions the 8GB iPhone 3GS available for $47 with a two-year contract.



"We will be offering these devices at this outstanding Member value until Christmas Day," the memo reads. "Please reprint your flags and have a great sales weekend."



The discount is the lowest yet seen for Apple's smartphone, beating a promotion held earlier this month by Radio Shack. That sale saw $50 knocked off the price of the iPhone 4, bringing the 16GB model to $149.



That promotion proved to be extremely successful for both Radio Shack and Apple, as the retailer almost completely sold out of iPhones nationwide. AppleInsider contacted a number of Radio Shack stores across the U.S. and found that all but one had no stock of the iPhone 4.







The Sam's Club price is $2 lower than Radio Shack's promotion, but also requires a membership to the warehouse club. Sam's Club, a subsidiary of Walmart, recently began selling the iPhone, along with Apple's iPad.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 30
    ick... but it'll cost a lot more to get the stink of Sam's club off ya.
  • Reply 2 of 30
    nofeernofeer Posts: 2,422member
    all this aggressive pricing including for radio shack tells me NOT to buy now

    the better deals like the monthly plan will be even better after january,

    no doubt other carriers are coming on board let ALL of them

    compete with my next 2 year contract.

    who cares if you can save 50 dollars on a phone if the plan is still over priced.

    you can get an unlimited data, text , voice from walmart for $45/m

    the cost isn't the phone, people its the plan.

    if verizon through walmart can offer a fee free simple payment of $45 then we shouldn't have to pay much more even with a subsidized iPhone and all those ATT fees ....whew





    buying an iPhone now is just a waste of money



    i'll just wait.
  • Reply 3 of 30
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 2,353member
    Looks like Apple is trying to learn more about the price-elasticity of demand for the iPhone.



    Also, this is another sign that Apple is totally committed to winning the mobile platform "war".
  • Reply 4 of 30
    I am all for lower prices, but won't this hurt Apple just a bit. Like it or not, Apple is a status symbol...they also make amazing products. If you start offering their products for cheap, it's no longer something you have to save up for. You'll be able to go to Costco or Sam's Club and get it for $.01 (of course not now, but they were selling some high end smartphones for that much). Apple is expensive, but mandating their prices make them worth something...



    Do you guys think this is a smart move on the value of Apple? Even if it is to win the Mobile OS war, you don't want to turn yourself into Android...
  • Reply 5 of 30
    Apple is still getting full price regardless of what price retailers sell the iPhones. iPhones are already free in several countries by signing a contract at a high monthly bill. It's no different than US retailers slashing prices for the iPhone. It's about attracting and getting more people in to their stores and hoping consumers will walk out of there with more than just an iPhone.
  • Reply 6 of 30
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Habañero View Post


    ick... but it'll cost a lot more to get the stink of Sam's club off ya.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Chaseism View Post


    I am all for lower prices, but won't this hurt Apple just a bit. Like it or not, Apple is a status symbol...they also make amazing products. If you start offering their products for cheap, it's no longer something you have to save up for.



    You people have problems.
  • Reply 7 of 30
    matrix07matrix07 Posts: 1,993member
    I feel for Chinese people. There're still long waiting lists there.
  • Reply 8 of 30
    I may be wrong but I think that all these low priced promotions are something Apple has allowed in good faith to help At&t pull in a few more boat loads of customers before the Verizon iPhone comes out.
  • Reply 9 of 30
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TechManMike View Post


    I may be wrong but I think that all these low priced promotions are something Apple has allowed in good faith to help At&t pull in a few more boat loads of customers before the Verizon iPhone comes out.



    Keep dreaming.
  • Reply 10 of 30
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    You people have problems.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Chaseism View Post


    I am all for lower prices, but won't this hurt Apple just a bit. Like it or not, Apple is a status symbol...they also make amazing products. If you start offering their products for cheap, it's no longer something you have to save up for. You'll be able to go to Costco or Sam's Club and get it for $.01 (of course not now, but they were selling some high end smartphones for that much). Apple is expensive, but mandating their prices make them worth something...



    Do you guys think this is a smart move on the value of Apple? Even if it is to win the Mobile OS war, you don't want to turn yourself into Android...





    ----



    Wow, my kids and I have iPhone 4s and we shop at Walmart. I also use a PC. A cheap one. How about that? What status symbol? I use my phone because I really like it. That's the only reason.
  • Reply 11 of 30
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Habañero View Post


    ick... but it'll cost a lot more to get the stink of Sam's club off ya.



    Makes Crazy Eddie's Christmas deals seem tame. (I miss those annoying ads.)
  • Reply 12 of 30
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 2,353member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Wurm5150 View Post


    Apple is still getting full price regardless of what price retailers sell the iPhones. iPhones are already free in several countries by signing a contract at a high monthly bill. It's no different than US retailers slashing prices for the iPhone. It's about attracting and getting more people in to their stores and hoping consumers will walk out of there with more than just an iPhone.



    Unless you have specific information that this is the case, I don't think it's at all clear that this is necessarily the case for either the Radio Shack or the Sams Club discounts. It's one thing for a carrier to discount the phones in order to make money off a long term service contract. But it's quite another for a retailer to discount when they have no other way of recouping the lost money.



    I think it's more likely that Apple is behind the Sam's Club and Radio Shack discounts. As I noted in my earlier post, Apple may be trying to learn more about the price-elasticity of iPhone demand in the United States.
  • Reply 13 of 30
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Blastdoor View Post


    I think it's more likely that Apple is behind the Sam's Club and Radio Shack discounts. As I noted in my earlier post, Apple may be trying to learn more about the price-elasticity of iPhone demand in the United States.



    Maybe. But there are other possibilities:



    1) Sam's is selling iPhones as a loss-leader, to get people into the stores. Perhaps you weren't aware of this, but some stores are selling iPads at unusually low prices as well. I doubt Apple needs any pricing help to sell iPads at this time - it can't make them fast enough as it is. Same thing: A deeply-discounted iPad gets people in the store.



    2) This promotion is being subsidized (partly or fully) by AT&T, which is coming to the end of its exclusivity deal with Apple.



    3) This promotion is being subsidized (partly or fully) by Apple, but not as an experiment in 'price elasticity'. Instead, it simply wants to clear out older (3G) iPhone models.



    Apple may indeed be interested in selling a lower-cost iPhone down the road. But that time may be years away, and may require a new generation of products. Take for example the iPad, which held the same relative price for years until Apple decided the time was right for lower-cost models.
  • Reply 14 of 30
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by patrickf View Post


    ----



    Wow, my kids and I have iPhone 4s and we shop at Walmart. I also use a PC. A cheap one. How about that? What status symbol? I use my phone because I really like it. That's the only reason.



    Why'd you quote me? I'm on your side!
  • Reply 15 of 30
    zoetmbzoetmb Posts: 2,579member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Blastdoor View Post


    Unless you have specific information that this is the case, I don't think it's at all clear that this is necessarily the case for either the Radio Shack or the Sams Club discounts. It's one thing for a carrier to discount the phones in order to make money off a long term service contract. But it's quite another for a retailer to discount when they have no other way of recouping the lost money.



    I think it's more likely that Apple is behind the Sam's Club and Radio Shack discounts. As I noted in my earlier post, Apple may be trying to learn more about the price-elasticity of iPhone demand in the United States.



    I doubt that very much. Most retailers contracts have "most favored nation" clauses. That means other retailers can't buy for less than they can for the same terms. There are also laws requiring this. I was involved some years ago in an e-commerce operation and because we were going to buy so much product, I insisted on lower wholesale prices from the distributors. Turns out because of a lawsuit, they couldn't do that. The wholesale price could only be based upon how much product was purchased in a single order (not even how many units or how many dollars we would buy over the course of a year.) (Of course there are ways around this like co-op advertising credits, but basically, that's the way it works.)



    It's not clear to me that Radio Shack and Sam's Club aren't making money on the long term service contract, but even if that's the case, it doesn't matter. They don't have to make money on the iPhone. The purpose of these discounts is to get people into the store to buy other things - they are loss leaders. That's why the Sam's Club promotion ends at Christmas.



    I happen to agree with those who think that selling the iPhone through these mass market distributors debases the product. One of the main reasons why Apple opened its own retail is because they were unhappy with how their products were presented and supported in retailers like CompUSA and Circuit City. But they now think Radio Shack and Sam's Club does a good job?



    I've never been in a Sam's Club, but I have been in a WalMart twice. And what I've found there is a few good prices surrounded by mostly bad prices, at least for the products that I would consider buying. Electronics, photography and media were all priced higher for name brands than J&R in Manhattan, a large, but independent retailer with a single store. And J&R pays its staff far more than minimum wage. Stores like WalMart and Target get a reputation for low prices by having absurd sales on few select items, but it's actually a big con. Most of the decent products I see in these places are selling for list price. Even when Circuit City went out of business, their "going out of business" prices were higher than everyday prices at B&H Photo/Video (NYC) or J&R, yet people were walking out with the stuff like they were giving it away. Especially when it's so easy to check prices on the web, you'd think people would know better.
  • Reply 16 of 30
    Not trying to diss anyone at all and I apologize if anyone was offended. I guess, let me phrase it a different way.



    In my experience in cell phone industry, people have come to correlate the price of the handset with the quality of it. Now I'm not talking about tech junkies like us, but more so average consumers. It used to be that the free or cheap phone was the way to go because back then, the only thing everyone did was call. But nowadays, people often regret the free phone they got because "you get what you pay for" as they regretfully say to me. They saw how that free phone was a lower quality than the ones you'd actually spend some money on in both quality and functionality.



    Even more recently, I've watched people save up for the more expensive smartphone instead of going for the cheaper one because of their stigma with cheap or free phones, without much care of the functionality of the phone itself. They still see price as a sign of quality.



    So my question to you guys, restated, is do you think that the Apple Brand can outweigh people's stigma on cheap or free phones if the iPhone's price is lowered?
  • Reply 17 of 30
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mister Snitch View Post


    Maybe. But there are other possibilities:



    1) Sam's is selling iPhones as a loss-leader, to get people into the stores. Perhaps you weren't aware of this, but some stores are selling iPads at unusually low prices as well. I doubt Apple needs any pricing help to sell iPads at this time - it can't make them fast enough as it is. Same thing: A deeply-discounted iPad gets people in the store.



    2) This promotion is being subsidized (partly or fully) by AT&T, which is coming to the end of its exclusivity deal with Apple.



    3) This promotion is being subsidized (partly or fully) by Apple, but not as an experiment in 'price elasticity'. Instead, it simply wants to clear out older (3G) iPhone models.



    Apple may indeed be interested in selling a lower-cost iPhone down the road. But that time may be years away, and may require a new generation of products. Take for example the iPad, which held the same relative price for years until Apple decided the time was right for lower-cost models.



    Hasn't (I don't know) been against stores selling below a certain amount? So that's why iPods are at full price, but you can get a gift card?



    What I mean to say is that it appears Apple is indeed behind allowing retailers to cut prices on iPhones. Which is a HUGE thing. Must be scared of Android.
  • Reply 18 of 30
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by patrickf View Post


    What I mean to say is that it appears Apple is indeed behind allowing retailers to cut prices on iPhones. Which is a HUGE thing. Must be scared of Android.



    Actually there is nothing to suggest that Apple 'approves' of these price games. I would imagine that they are allowed because Apple got their full cost and ATT isn't playing favs and upping their subsidy to cover the discount.



    Nor does this have anything to do with Verizon etc getting the iPhone anytime soon.



    The folks talking about loss leaders are on the money. These places are willing to lose their cut in order to get folks into their locations.



    It is also worth bringing up that we don't have any numbers. This wildly successful promotion for Radio Shack may have sold out within days but are we talking 5 phones per size for each store, or 100 each size. And where they really at all locations or are there only select stores that handle phones. If it turns out that only 20% of stores received phones, that could make things a bit more tame
  • Reply 19 of 30
    daharderdaharder Posts: 1,580member
    Interesting... Looks like iPhone4 Bogo can't be too far behind.
  • Reply 20 of 30
    daharderdaharder Posts: 1,580member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Chaseism View Post


    I am all for lower prices, but won't this hurt Apple just a bit. Like it or not, Apple is a status symbol...



    Do you guys think this is a smart move on the value of Apple?



    Given that iPhones have already become as 'common' as Toyota Camrys/Honda Accords, such delusions of status/grandeur no longer apply.



    Most Apple products (e.g iPod/iPhone) are little more than appliances at this point.
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