updated 10:20 pm EST, Wed December 8, 2010
Best Buy said in one-day iPhone 3GS free offer
Best Buy may follow Radio Shack with a deal of its own if a last-minute claim is accurate. The big-box chain is expected to offer the 8GB iPhone 3GS for free on Friday, December 10, and would go beyond new AT&T customers to include extra lines and qualified upgrades. The discount would be immediate at the counter, BGR's source said.
The deal hasn't been explained and would be unusual for Best Buy, which has normally clung to Apple's pricing scheme. As a retailer independent from Radio Shack, it hints that Apple, AT&T or both are experimenting with sales at different retailers to see which would have the most effect.
If guided by Apple, the sales would most likely be to keep iPhone sales high and ahead of Android. AT&T has an interest of its own, since it has signalled an intent to get as many iPhone customers as possible in 2010 and had already extended upgrade eligibility to let anyone who was eligible in 2010 to get an iPhone 4 early. Most now suspect its iPhone exclusivity is ending at the start of 2011 and that it wants to lock in as many customers as possible before they can switch to a Verizon iPhone.