This week Best Buy was offering $99 iPhones to Reward Zone members, which is a great deal for people looking to finally take a drink of Apple's Kool-Aid in the U.S. The Japanese mobile carrier, SoftBank Mobile, has easily one-upped Best Buy's deal, offering iPhones for free until the end of May.
SoftBank is offering an 8GB iPhone for free with a two-year contract, and the 16GB is being offered at 480 yen per month over the two year contract, a total price of 11,520 yen or $119.11. The iPhone isn't the only thing being discounted in Japan. The iPhone data plans are also being discounted heavily in an attempt to increase sales.
The reason behind SoftBank's need to sell iPhones is really what is in question. We are already aware that the Japanese supposedly hate the iPhone, but the timing raises some questions.
It is possible that since both Best Buy and SoftBank are discounting the iPhone so heavily that this could be a sign that the inevitable iPhone update is on its way. The WWDC is coming up, and retailers may need to clear out some inventory.
It is also possible that people are just reading into these sales way too much. Either way, the consumers are the ones who benefit the most so bring on the sales.
This is just my way of telling Best Buy to give me a free iPhone next time instead of discounts. A free data plan sounds even better, but beggars can't be choosers. Am I right?