Best Buy is no longer selling the iPhone X, iPhone 8 or iPhone 8 Plus outright, with purchases now only available on installment plans. The move comes after the retailer received widespread criticism for its pricing of the smartphones, charging $100 more than Apple does for the same hardware.
When pre-orders first got into gear for the iPhone X on Friday, Best Buy was selling the full-priced 64GB model for $1,099 and the 256GB flavor for $1,249. Those prices come in at $100 more than Apple asks for the same two devices and there were similar price hikes on the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus variants, too.
After initially claiming that the $100 premium was in place because it allowed buyers to “get a phone the way they want,” Best Buy has taken the decision to not reduce its prices to bring them inline with Apple but to instead ditch one-off sales completely. Now, if you want to buy an iPhone X, iPhone 8 or iPhone 8 Plus from Best Buy, it will need to be part of a carrier deal.
“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.”
The move is presumably to protect the fee that Best Buy receives from carriers when an iPhone is bought through a store and attached to a network. The fee is paid by the carrier the contract is aligned to, and as Best Buy receives no such fee for outright iPhone sales, the retailer apparently decided that the sales were simply not worth its time without that $100 markup.
This move does not trickle down to the older models of iPhones, however, which still have an additional $50 attached to their price tag when bought outright.
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