updated 03:05 pm EST, Wed February 25, 2009
Softbank free iPhones
SoftBank has announced a promotion that will allow customers in Japan to receive free 3G iPhones when signing up for a two-year contract. The 8GB version is available for free with a basic, premium or student plan. The 16GB variant costs ¥11,520 (~$120), but customers pay an additional ¥480 (~$5USD) per month on, across a two-year plan, instead of providing the lump sum up front.
The "iPhone for Everybody Campaign" runs until the end of May. The carrier has also dropped the maximum price of the standard data plan to ¥4410 (~$45USD) from ¥5985 (~$62USD) to make the deal even more attractive.
Best Buy offered a similar promotion for its Reward Zone members this week, although the iPhone prices were reduced to $100 and $200 for the 8GB and 16GB models, respectively. It is unclear if the promotions are unrelated, or if the carriers are attempting to clear out inventory of the current handsets in anticipation of an upcoming product refresh. [via AppleInsider]