In a move almost certain to accelerate national smartphone adoption, Wal-Mart has decided to cut the price of Apple's 16GB 3GS iPhone from $199 to $97. CNNMoney.com
notes that Apple is expected to unveil a new iPhone next month, and is therefore likely working with retailers to clear out remaining inventory.
"When consumers get sight of a new iPhone model on the horizon, sales of the existing model typically falls off sharply," it notes. The deal requires that the phone be purchased with a two-year contract from AT&T -- still the iPhone's exclusive service provider. Apple sold 8.3 million iPhones last quarter, more than twice the amount sold during the same period a year ago, according to CNNMoney.com. Analysts, meanwhile, say that worldwide smartphone sales topped 54 million units in the first quarter, up nearly 49% from a year ago.