Best Buy is offering a minimum $200 trade-in credit for working iPhone 4S units through Sunday, offsetting the 16GB iPhone 5’s purchase price. The retailer is also offering at least a $100 trade-in for working iPhone 4 units. While it may be tempting to take advantage of these iPhone 5 offers, smart shoppers should be patient and wait for the iPhone 5S or seek out a discounted iPhone 5.
Best Buy typically guarantees a minimum of a $150 store credit for the iPhone 4S, but is adding on $50 through August 18. This brings Best Buy’s trade-in values in line with other services, such as Gazelle.com, which offers about $200 for the 16GB iPhone 4S. Of course, those who trade their old iPhones into Best Buy are stuck with store credit that can only be used at Best Buy rather than cash. Gazelle and other services allow enough a grace period between locking in a good price and when customers actually have to send in their iPhones so they don’t have to go phone-less.
The Bet Buy special trade-in deal offers customers the convenience of being able to walk in with an old iPhone and out with a new iPhone 5, but the problem with the scheme is that Best Buy is still selling the 16GB iPhone 5 for its original $199.99 MSRP. That’s the same price Apple sells the 16GB iPhone 5 for, but other retailers are offering generous discounts. For example, Walmart is selling the 16GB iPhone 5 for just $129. Target is selling the same iPhone for $149. All of these prices require a two-year contract with AT&T, Sprint or Verizon. The T-Mobile iPhone 5 isn’t included in Best Buy’s current promotions.
Apple is set to announce the new iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C on September 10, which is less than a month away. The new iPhones will likely be available just a few weeks later. Unless you absolutely must have an iPhone 5 right now, we suggest holding off on buying an iPhone 5 regardless of the price. The iPhone 5C is expected to debut below $199 with a contract and the iPhone 5S will likely to start at $199.99. As we’ve detailed before, the iPhone 5’s upfront purchase price is a small piece of its total cost of ownership.