Where to Find the Best Holiday Discounts on iPhones

With Black Friday in the rearview, some retailers are drastically reducing the prices of the new iPhone 5s and 5c. CIO.com blogger Bill Snyder spotlights two stores that are offering significantly discounted Apple smartphones for the holidays.

Apple’s new high-end iPhone 5s and the colorful iPhone 5c are currently available for very reasonable prices at – of all places – Walmart.  The giant retailer kicked off a series of holiday specials last week, including the best price I’ve seen on the 16GB version of the iPhone 5c: $27 with a two-year contract from AT&T, Sprint or Verizon. The 5c, which has only been around for three months, generally sells for $99, so it’s hard to imagine the price getting much lower than $27.

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There is a catch, but it’s not a very big one: You need to buy the smartphone at the store; it’s not available online.

If you want the high-end iPhone 5s, Walmart is also offering a discount on the 16GB version of that model: $127 with a two-year contract, down from its normal price of $199. Like the discounted 5c, it’s only available in Walmart stores. Walmart is offering some additional (so-so) deals on a few other Apple products. The 16GB iPad mini is available at its normal price of $299 but it comes with a $50 gift card. And Wal-Mart is selling $30 Apple iTunes gift cards for $25.

The sales are in effect until Dec. 24, or until supplies run out, Walmart said in a press release.

Walmart isn’t the only retailer cutting iPhone prices for the holidays. Best Buy will knock $75 off any iPhone 5s regardless of storage capacity on AT&T, Verizon and Sprint. The retailer is offering $50 discounts on all models of the 5c, so you could buy a 16GB version for just $49.99. Best Buy is selling some models online and some at its brick-and-mortar locations.

Whether you buy at Walmart or Best Buy, sales tax could be based on the undiscounted price depending on the policies of your state.

Sam’s Club locations are selling the 16GB iPhone 5S at $119 with two year contract for all major carriers through January or while supplies last. The iPhone 5C is $25 with a two-year contract, a spokeswoman for the company told me. Sam’s Club will host an open house at all club locations from Dec. 20 – 22, where non-members can shop without paying the 10 percent upcharge. The open house extends to SamsClub.com, too, where non-members will be asked to provide their email address prior to checkout

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