While rumors of a so-called $99 iPhone were quashed this weekend when Wal-Mart officially began offering the phones for a mere $2 below MSRP, there’s hope for bargain hunters yet. In a surprise move, AT&T began offering refurbished iPhone models the same day, for a much more significant price cut of $100, placing the cheapest models at only $99.
The supply of refurbished phones comes from AT&T’s 30-day trial program, which allows subscribers to return new hardware within 30 days if they aren’t satisfied with it. The refurbished phones, AT&T explains, are therefore “lightly used” and may have minor scratches. Another potential caveat: The phones will carry only 90 days of warranty, compared to the full year warranty that new phones receive.
This isn’t the first time AT&T has sold refurbished iPhones through the Web, but previously the phones carried only a $50 discount. The extra $50 cut that arrived on Sunday won’t last, though. AT&T intends to return to previous prices on Dec. 31.