Walmart Drops iPhone 4S to $148, Wait for the iPhone 5 Anyway

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How low can you go? It's a fine question to ask during a limbo competition, but when electronics retailers ponder the same query, customers can save some real cash. Walmart asked itself just how low iPhone 4S pricing can go and came up with a record new rock-bottom price: $148, when purchased with a 2-year contract from Sprint, Verizon or AT&T. Previously, the handset would set you back $188 at the big-box retailer.

Why $148 and not a more traditional price? Because the price cut comes in response to a similar price cut by Sprint. At the beginning of the month, the carrier dropped the price of the iPhone 4S to $149.99 (with contract), presumably to start clearing units before the anticipated launch of the iPhone 5 on September 12.

iPhone sales typically hit a lull half a year or so after a model is released, as people start hunkering down and waiting for the next iteration rather than immediately upgrading to the current option. Apple's financial results took a hit from the effect last quarter; the company missed analyst expectations after selling "only" 26 million iPhones, missing the 28 million projection. Apple moved 35.1 million iPhones the previous quarter.

While $148 is a good price on a great phone, we'd recommend holding off for a few weeks and seeing what the iPhone 5 brings to the table rather than rushing out to lock yourself into a new contract just -- especially since the last two iPhones launched with a comparatively close $199.99 price point for the 16GB models.