updated 08:44 pm EDT, Thu October 3, 2013
Promotion runs through October 7, retail store pickup only
Retailer Best Buy has announced that it is holding a weekend sale (beginning today) that includes a $50 store gift card with any iPhone 5c purchase, effectively reducing the price of the already-discounted iPhone 5 successor to as little as $49 up front with a two-year carrier contract, or $499 off-contract for the 16GB model. The offer requires in-store pickup or walk-in purchase at the company's retail locations, and the gift card can't be used towards the iPhone 5c purchase.
The promotion will run until October 7 (Monday), and has a small catch in that if the iPhone 5c is returned for some reason, the gift card must also be returned. Widespread reports suggest that the iPhone 5c is selling well, though it is slightly less in demand than the more advanced (and more expensive) iPhone 5s. However, supplies of the iPhone 5s continue to be constrained, with the more popular gold and white color options being rarer than the "Space Gray" version.
The discount only applies to the iPhone 5c, which is generally easily found in most color options (the yellow version appears to be somewhat more scarce than the other colors). Apple has bolstered the iPhone 5c with a TV and billboard ad campaign emphasizing its colorful composition, the integration of the equally-colorful iOS 7 and its appeal to younger, trendier demographics. The marketing for the iPhone 5s appears more aimed at professional, upscale and enterprise users.