Best Buy has dropped the price of the iPhone 4 at its US online store to $50 with a two-year contract. The change applies to models for all three major iPhone carriers, namely AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint. It also appears to be a more permanent discount, unlike the sales some vendors have held during the past few months.
The retailer is likely trying to clear out stock of the phone in the run-up to the launch of a sixth-generation iPhone this fall. A number of third-party vendors have adopted a similar strategy in the past, since older Apple devices tend to drop rapidly in popularity after new models go on sale, even when there are major cost advantages. The iPhone 4 may soon take the place of the iPhone 3GS, Apple’s cheapest iPhone, which is already free on contract; that model will likely be discontinued entirely.