Apple’s iPhone 5 and Samsung’s Galaxy 4 are no longer brand new, and their prices are dropping. Best Buy chopped $150 from the prices of many smartphones from three of the four major carriers; AT&T is offering a deal that knocks 50 percent off the cost of its phones; and, perhaps best of all, CREDO Mobile is not only selling iPhones and Galaxys at deep discounts, it is giving customers $350 to help buy out of existing cell phone contracts. Here are the details on each of the offers. (Note: All of them expire in just a few days, so you’ll want to act fast.)
CREDO Mobile, which bills itself as a phone company for political progressives, resells wireless service from Sprint. If you sign up by July 1, you can get a free Galaxy SIII (an excellent phone), a 25-percent discount on monthly voice charges for one year and a $350 credit. If you prefer the newer Galaxy S4, you can shell out $150, and the HTC One goes for $100. A few other phones are also available. Check out all of the details of the offer.)
Best Buy is offering $150 off the price of an iPhone 5 if you trade in an iPhone 4 or iPhone 4S in good condition. That means you can get a 16GB iPhone 5 for the trade in. If you prefer the 32GB or 64GB versions, you can subtract $150 from their prices. The offer extends to phones from AT&T, Verizon and Sprint, but not T-Mobile. Here are the catches: You have to pay tax on the purchase, and in most states you’ll be taxed on the full, unsubsidized, value of the phone, so depending on the tax rate in your community, the price could still add up to a sizable chunk of change. If you are already a customer of any of those carriers, the deal only applies if you’re eligible for an upgrade. So check with your carrier before you take the trouble to go to Best Buy. The offer is also only good through June 29, so you’d better hurry up.
AT&T is selling a wide range of smartphones at 50 percent off if you have an old phone to trade in. The most expensive phone that’s eligible for the half-price offer costs $200. That means you can get the 16GB iPhone 5 for $100, but there’s no discount on the more expensive 32GB or 64GB versions. Samsung’s new Galaxy S4 also cost just $100 after a trade in. Again, you can only get the discount if you are eligible for an upgrade. In typical AT&T fashion, the material on its website is vague about phones that are acceptable for the trade-in. Still, if you’re willing to go to an AT&T retail store, you’ll be able to figure it out. Like the other offers, this one is set to expire soon – June 30.
San Francisco journalist Bill Snyder writes frequently about business and technology. His work appears regularly in CIO.com and the publications of Stanford's Graduate School of Business and the Haas School of Business at the University of California at Berkeley. He welcomes your comments and suggestions.