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Best Buy matches AT&T’s $49 iPhone 3GS offer

If anyone needed any more indication that the iPhone will soon be landing on Verizon Wireless, this might be it: electronics retailer Best Buy has announced it is now offering the 8 GB version of the Apple iPhone 3GS for $49.99. The announcement essentially matches AT&T’s price drop on the iPhone 3GS, although Best Buy is coming in $0.99 higher. As with AT&T, the offer is available to qualified upgrade customers as well as buyers willing to sign to a new two-year service contract.

Although the iPhone 3GS is now one generation obsolete and doesn’t have iPhone 4 features like a high-resolution “retina display” and a five megapixel camera, the iPhone 3GS is still a far more capable device than many phones that appear in the $50 range—and, of course, it’ll run the latest version of Apple’s iOS operating system and hundreds of thousands of smartphone applications available via the iTunes App Store.

The move to seriously discount iPhone 3GS devices—and and lock customers into new two-year service agreements with AT&T—is widely being interpreted as another sign that the iPhone will be debuting in short order on Verizon Wireless—although when that comes to pass, it’s not likely to be the iPhone 3GS, and it’s not likely to be for an initial price of $50.