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Best Buy Selling iPhone X on Installment Plan Only After Criticism Over $100 Premium
When pre-orders kicked off for the iPhone X on Friday, Best Buy was selling the full-priced 64GB model for $1,099 and the 256GB model for $1,249, $100 more than Apple asks for the two devices. Similar price increases were applied to iPhone 8 and 8 Plus orders.
Best Buy confusingly said it was charging a premium because flexibility sometimes has a cost, and that by offering full-price iPhones, customers can "get a phone the way they want." The statement made little sense as the same full-price commitment-free iPhones are available from Apple and other retailers.
Rather than dropping its prices, Best Buy has decided it will no longer offer iPhone X, iPhone 8, and iPhone 8 Plus models for outright purchase, instead only selling them via carrier installment plans from Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint. The payment plans feature no extra charge, with the monthly device payments going directly to carriers.
"Although there was clearly demand for the un-activated iPhone X, selling it that way cost more money, causing some confusion with our customers and noise in the media," Best Buy spokeswoman Danielle Schumann said. "That's why we decided a few days ago to only sell the phone the traditional way, through installment billing plans."When a customer purchases an iPhone via a carrier installment plan, Best Buy receives a payment from the carrier in question, but that payment is not received for iPhones at full price, which seems to be why Best Buy was charging an additional $100. No other retailer charges an additional $100 for the iPhone, though.
While Best Buy has stopped offering the latest iPhone models as an outright purchase sans installments, it is continuing to sell older models and charging a $50 premium on those devices when purchased without a carrier payment plan. The iPhone 7, for example, is priced at $599, $50 more than Apple charges.