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Snippet: Best Buy Doesn’t Know How to Sell iPhones ☇

Shared on October 31, 2017

Chris Welch for The Verge:

Best Buy will now only sell the iPhone X and iPhone 8 through monthly carrier payment plans and has stopped offering customers the option of buying Apple’s latest smartphones outright in one lump sum. The move, reported by Bloomberg, comes after the retailer took criticism for charging an extra $100 on top of the already-expensive $999 iPhone X starting price listed by Apple and wireless carriers. The iPhone 8 was marked up in a similar way.

“Although there was clearly demand for the unactivated iPhone X, selling it that way cost more money, causing some confusion with our customers and noise in the media,” a spokesperson told Bloomberg. “That’s why we decided a few days ago to only sell the phone the traditional way, through installment billing plans.”

While I realize that most people do buy their phones using the carrier-based financing options or the Apple iPhone Upgrade Program, this move is pretty user-hostile and counterintuitive. While I know Best Buy probably makes very little profit from paid-in-full iPhone purchases, it still gets people in the door. That user may decide to pick up a Qi charger, case, car mount, cables, or whatever else is sold at a larger profit around the phone. By price-gouging and then removing the option entirely, Best Buy has instead said that those who want to walk in with a wad of cash for a new phone are not welcome.

Playing devil’s advocate, I can only think this is to avoid people buying new iPhones at full price and then reselling them for a profit. Still, the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus were sold as SIM-free from the start at full price from Apple, which is the method yours truly purchased one. Even though there was a Best Buy that was closer, I noticed the $100 price hike and got a bit of pushback as to why I wasn’t going finance through a carrier (I switched to prepaid service—a nice phone and cheap, basic plan). Needless to say, that exercise was concluded rather quickly, and I’m pretty sure that I can only recommend getting an iPhone directly through Apple, carrier financed or not.

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