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iPhone 5C will be free at Best Buy Mobile

One month after its launch, the iPhone 5C is being offered for free to upgrade-eligible mobile subscribers willing to trade in a working smartphone. Best Buy Mobile will offer $100 gift certificates to customers who trade in any working smartphone, making the $99 16GB iPhone 5C free, except for sales tax and activation fees. Best Buy Mobile stores are planning to run the promotion October 11 and 12.

Apple positioned the 5C as a budget-friendly smartphone, but probably never expected prices to fall this far, this fast. “The iPhone 5C is one of the worst mobile launches this year and the worst ever for Apple,” said John Feland of Argus Insights. “Everyone is cutting prices to move the Apple inventory they had to commit to. … I’m sure retailers are anxious about having tons of colorful and useless product lying around.”

Argus Insights, which predicts smartphone sales based on analysis of social media posts, found that the buzz surrounding the launch of the iPhone 5C and 5S was less than half that surrounding the launch of the iPhone 5. The firm believes both new iPhones are selling better outside the United States, and says that consumers are much more interested in the 5s than the 5c.

The dual launch of the 5S and the 5C may be one reason for the 5C price cuts. “The iPhone 5s may be out of stock and as a result retailers are offering a incentives, such as a $50 in-store gift card, to close the sale on the iPhone 5C that is available,” said Jefferson Wang of IBB Consulting.

Under the hood, the iPhone 5c is very similar to the iPhone 5, meaning that the discounts on the 5C should translate into great deals on the iPhone 5. Apple no longer sells the iPhone 5, but retailers do. At last check, was selling the 16GB iPhone 5 for use on AT&T, Verizon or Sprint’s networks for $79.

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Martha DeGrasse
Martha DeGrasse
Martha DeGrasse is the publisher of Network Builder Reports ( At RCR, Martha authored more than 20 in-depth feature reports and more than 2,400 news articles. She also created the Mobile Minute and the 5 Things to Know Today series. Prior to joining RCR Wireless News, Martha produced business and technology news for CNN and Dow Jones in New York and managed the online editorial group at Hoover’s Online before taking a number of years off to be at home when her children were young. Martha is the board president of Austin's Trinity Center and is a member of the Women's Wireless Leadership Forum.

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