The iPhone 5c price drop war is on. After Best Buy announced on Thursday that it was planning to offer Apple's iPhone 5c for $50 with a two-year contract -- $50 less than Apple's $99 price -- Walmart has announced that it will offer the phone for $45.
"This is what we do -- low prices is what we do," Sarah Spencer McKinney, director of corporate communications for Walmart, told ABC News. "As a price leader, we are always looking for ways to surprise our customers with low prices and disrupt the competition."
- First Best Buy dropped the price of the 5c to $50 for the weekend
- Now Walmart is permanently lowering the price of the 5c to $45
McKinney told ABC News to expect the price to remain at $45 throughout the holiday season. The deal begins today and is only eligible to customers in stores who sign a two-year contract on the handset.
Walmart had already been offering one of the lower prices on Apple's newest phones. While Apple's suggested retail price was set at $99.99 on the iPhone 5c, Walmart offered the phone at $79 when the phone was launched two weeks ago. It also offers the iPhone 5s at $189, $10 less than Apple stores and other carrier stores.
While both Walmart and Best Buy maintain that this is just a deal to drive attention to the iPhone 5c, the price drop comes as the higher-end iPhone 5s has been sold out at various stores. The 5s has a faster processor, better camera and a new fingerprint reader embedded in the home button.
Apple declined to comment on the Best Buy or Walmart deals or on the specific sales numbers of the iPhone 5c. The company said last week that it sold 9 million iPhones in the opening weekend but did not identify the breakdown of sales for each model.
"I think the 5c has gotten overshadowed and, given that the 5s isn't available everywhere, this is a way to get people excited about the latest and greatest Apple product," Stephen Baker, vice president of industry analysis at NPD, told ABC News.
When Apple first launched the 5c last month many analysts criticized the company for not pricing the phone lower. Those complaints now seem to have been answered. Apple still offers the iPhone 4s for free with a two-year contract.