iPhone 5c drops to "free" on contract at Best Buy

Best Buy has dropped the prices of Apple's smartphones with the colorful iPhone 5c available as low as free with a two year service agreement.

The Apple iPhone 5c and 5s which were launched at a starting price of $100 and $200 respectively in September have received regular price cuts and discounts from retailers such as Best Buy and Wal-Mart.

Interested customers can now get the 16GB iPhone 5c for free from Best Buy's online store with a new 2-year contract on carriers AT&T, Verizon or Sprint. The 32GB version of the iPhone 5c is available for $79.99 while the iPhone 5s variants can be availed at $124.99 for 16GB, $224.99 for 32GB and $324.99 for 64GB on same contract terms.

It's unclear whether the price cut is part of a limited time promotional sale from the online retailer, so interested buyers should purchase their choice of iPhone 5 models soon in order to not miss out on the opportunity.

Source: Best Buy via Phonearena

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If this was a windows phone the story would be along the lines of "windows phone sucks we had to make it free"...

neufuse said,
If this was a windows phone the story would be along the lines of "windows phone sucks we had to make it free"...

Funny, I was about to say something similar, at least regarding the comments. I went back through several of the "WP on sale" posted on Neowin, and almost every time the comments were filled with why WP was a failure and they were having to discount them, etc.

Mobius Enigma said,

Funny, I was about to say something similar, at least regarding the comments. I went back through several of the "WP on sale" posted on Neowin, and almost every time the comments were filled with why WP was a failure and they were having to discount them, etc.


don't understand the hate to Windows Phone, I switched from Android and I am very happy... In fact I have a more better phone experience than with Android. Sending text messages in Android takes 5 seconds, on WP is immediately. I love the GUI and yes, you are not going to find the apps that you see in Android but so far no complains. The only issue that I see is that I don't have the ability to upload from the web browser like in Android. I hope a future upgrade will fix that.

There should be a law against networks or stores using the word 'free' for any type of contract. You always see it. 'Free Phone' or 'Free Gift with this contract!' - It's never free. You pay the cost of the phone or so-called Free Gift every month, it's all bundled into your charges.

jamesyfx said,

There should be a law against networks or stores using the word 'free' for any type of contract. You always see it. 'Free Phone' or 'Free Gift with this contract!' - It's never free. You pay the cost of the phone or so-called Free Gift every month, it's all bundled into your charges.

Agreed... "Free" is a silly word to use. But I see what they mean:

Pay $550 now and a monthly fee in order to use the phone.

Pay $0 now and a monthly fee in order to use the phone.

It's the "no money down" part that they are referring to... however poorly worded it is.

as an android user myself, your comment has no basis. The galaxy s4 is practically "free" on amazon.com

its comments like your that perpetuate the stupid rivalry that exists among the platforms. Use whatever you like, and let others do the same.

Gaara sama said,
wow innovation is good that now is free now with 2 year contract lol

You can get the 1520 from Amazon at a very similar price..... and with the same caveats....

The main key differences between on contract than without contract is the hidden fees and extra crap that they can charge you. You end up paying double every month than paying a flat fee without contract.

What carrier are you on? On AT&T they charge me the same whether I get the $0 phone or buy it for $600, which does suck.

Enron said,
What carrier are you on? On AT&T they charge me the same whether I get the $0 phone or buy it for $600, which does suck.

I am on H20 wireless, $40 bucks unlimited services plus $20 international. AT&T can't beat that.

Enron said,
That's a good deal, but I checked their site and they didn't have any Lumias.

You need to buy their SIM Card for the service. I have the micro SIM that I had with my android and I just cut it to make it similar to a nano SIM. The Lumia 1520 only take nano sim and its working like charm.

Enron said,
What carrier are you on? On AT&T they charge me the same whether I get the $0 phone or buy it for $600, which does suck.

Personally I use T mobile since the time it was called Voicestream and it was one of the few companies using GSM in the US. I have heard that now AT&T as well offers plans that differentiate prices if you bring your own device but I do not have any specific because I am quite happy with T Mobile

Enron said,
What carrier are you on? On AT&T they charge me the same whether I get the $0 phone or buy it for $600, which does suck.

Get their $60/month smartphone prepaid service which is the same as the $95/month contract service.

Enron said,
That's a good deal, but I checked their site and they didn't have any Lumias.

You can try Amazon, plenty of Lumia there although I do not know what carriers and plans are attached; I only buy Unbranded devices.

Fritzly said,

You can try Amazon, plenty of Lumia there although I do not know what carriers and plans are attached; I only buy Unbranded devices.

So I could just buy an unbranded Lumia 930 or 1030 (whenever they're out) and go to one of these budget carriers with it? I thought that was just something people outside of the US could do.

Enron said,

So I could just buy an unbranded Lumia 930 or 1030 (whenever they're out) and go to one of these budget carriers with it? I thought that was just something people outside of the US could do.


yup, you can buy any unlocked GSM phone and also the SIM card from the service provider and you are set. I never have issues of any kind with my provider.

Enron said,

So I could just buy an unbranded Lumia 930 or 1030 (whenever they're out) and go to one of these budget carriers with it? I thought that was just something people outside of the US could do.

Yep, you just get a SIM card from the carrier and pop it in. It needs to support carrier's network type. You can do the same with branded phones by calling up the carrier and get an unlock code. You have to check the carrier on the requirements for the unlock code. Usually it's you have to use on their network for a given amount of time.

Enron said,

So I could just buy an unbranded Lumia 930 or 1030 (whenever they're out) and go to one of these budget carriers with it? I thought that was just something people outside of the US could do.


Yes you can; as I said I use T Mobile but I once gave an Iphone I got as a gift in Italy to a friend of mine who used AT&T; I do not remember what model it was but, at the time, the ones sold by AT&T were not able to send MMS; she put her AT&T SIM in it... and had MMS as well.. go figure. :-)

Enron said,
That's fantastic. No more crazy AT&T logo on my phones from now on.

As others have stated there are two things to keep in mind though: LTE bands used by your carrier of choice must match the ones supported by the device, or vice versa; also there is a difference between Unlocked and Unbranded: the former allows you to use the device on a different Network but, at least for WP, upgrades are still delivered by the carrier you bought the device from; this limitation does not apply to the latter to which updates are pushed directly from Nokia.

the iphone 5s is on sale for 125 I believe also at bestbuy if you don't want to switch providers that would probably be the best one to buy as it will have higher resale value since people actually want that phone unlike the 5c

^This.

People just don't make the calculations.
If you show them, they aways go "Ooohh..... didn't realise I pay THAT much... That's a rip-off..."

I haven't bought a phone on contract in several years now, in the end it's alway cheaper. And it helps not wanting the latest and greatest ;-)

But the news is a bit odd though, as the telecom providers are slowly backing away from subsidized phones altogether.

Dutchie64 said,
^This.

People just don't make the calculations.
If you show them, they aways go "Ooohh..... didn't realise I pay THAT much... That's a rip-off..."

I haven't bought a phone on contract in several years now, in the end it's alway cheaper. And it helps not wanting the latest and greatest ;-)

But the news is a bit odd though, as the telecom providers are slowly backing away from subsidized phones altogether.

Nobody needs a new phone every 2 years, the carriers have got us all thinking that we need to. Pre-pay is the way to go. My phone is 100% mine, and I love all the network options I have. If my network makes me mad or a better priced one comes along, I'm free to do what I want. Plus I don't feel like I'm getting ripped off if I keep my phone for 3 or 4 years because I'm not paying $30 - $40 extra a month.

Still better than NZ's contract prices. To get a phone "free" here you have to pay at least $73 USD a month. If you want to buy the phone outright it's over $800 USD That contract pan will probably have 2GB of data and 500 calling mins. A regular joke of a price.

Luckily the Telco's are the only ones with the rip off phones, most small businesses will sell a flagship phone for about 600-700 USD - The telco's push the prices up to match the iPhone which is $1000 as set per apple.

That being said, if you buy a phone outright and pay for two years 1000 + (24 * 90) it will cost you 3100 NZD whereas if you buy it on contact it will "save" you $1000 as you didn't have to buy the phone in the first place. But that's assuming you'd want to use the horribly expensive plan that comes with the phone, most people would be able to save a bit. Doesn't help that this country is a grand rip off scheme.

Steven P. said,
Free is relative, on a two year contract you still end up paying for the cost of the phone and more.

Exactly. Two year contracts with a built in loan payment that doesn't go away after you are done paying off the hardware. Its a scam IMO. Pre-pay/contract-less for the win. Its ridiculous to take out a loan for $500 - $700 hardware anyway. Most people don't buy their computers on loans, yet everyone seems fine to dive into debt for a phone in the US. Boggles the mind.

My phone got stolen in Barcelona and despite having insurance I wasn't able to get it replaced, I've cancelled the insurance and bought a Lumia 520 and plan to upgrade to a 925 in January, after my plan ends I'm going sim only and I'll just buy my own phone.

I'm still paying for a phone I don't even have

It should have been free on contract from the start if Apple were really serious about trying to capture some more of the lower end market that they've been losing out on to the lower priced Android and Windows Phone devices. At least they've just about come to their senses on this one.

That would be expected seeing that it doesn't hold the prestige of a metal museum quality iPhone. Indicators more than likely poor seller never seen this before . Especially with apple product.

TiffanyPiszko said,
That would be expected seeing that it doesn't hold the prestige of a metal museum quality iPhone. Indicators more than likely poor seller never seen this before . Especially with apple product.

The 5c is selling relatively better than the 4s was selling at the time that the iPhone 5 was released. Arguably, the 5c fills the same 'last years hardware slightly cheaper' product category as the 4S did last year.

Why do you think it was suppose to be doing somehow so much better than that? Seems pretty dang good to me.

iPhone sells in the US are strong. If the sells were split 50/50 between the 5S/5C, then what would you be saying? That 5S sells were weak, no doubt. Come on...

Sales are driven by the free iPhones (on contract). Apple is not at the point where they need to prevent the new phones from completely bombing relative to the 4S 'sales'

In a reaction we'll see the 5s become free when the new iPhone model arrives. with the 4s being discontinued.