If you’re still sitting on the fence, waiting to jump on the Apple iPhone bandwagon at an opportune time, today might be the day to act. For Monday only, official Apple dealer Best Buy is offering the iPhone 3GS for absolutely nothing — provided you sign your wireless life away to AT&T for the next two years.
The deal only applies to the 8GB model of the iPhone 3GS, and purchasers must be new to AT&T, or be upgrading from another device, to receive the free iPhone. Customers must purchase the handset in-store today, Monday, August 22.
News of the deal comes just a day after Best Buy and other US and Canadian electronics dealers slashed the price of the HP TouchPad tablet to as little as $99 — about $400 off the original asking price. The sale was so successful that many Best Buy locations were reportedly sold out of the TouchPad. To get one, wanting customers are now mostly forced to resort to eBay, where the price has jumped significantly from the bottom-barrel prices offered at Best Buy, but still less than standard retail.
Whether or not it’s worth it to get locked into a two-year contract with a phone that’s already two-years-old is entirely a matter of opinion. The deal is valuable, however, for the iPhone rumor mill.
First, the drastic price-cut of the iPhone 3GS shows that Best Buy is likely making room in its inventory for a new device, something we like to call the iPhone 5. If the recent round of hearsay reports are true, then we should be seeing that next-generation Apple handset in stores around October.
The second possible way to read into the free iPhone 3GS has to do with the widespread rumors that Apple plans to release a second, less-expensive version of the iPhone this year, along side the high-end iPhone 5. The reasoning behind this chatter has mostly come from market analysts who believe Apple stands to gain by releasing a lower-end device to compete with the various inexpensive Android handsets available. But if it’s possible to get the iPhone 3GS for free — or at least for very little — then it seems to us even more unlikely that Apple will release two iPhone models this year.