Best Buy is offering the Apple iPhone 3GS for free today to select customers through all of their retail stores. A two-year service agreement is required and you must be a new customer or an existing subscriber upgrading to the device to qualify. The offer applies only to the 8GB model on AT&T’s network.
Although the 3GS is over two years old, it’s still a capable device, especially if you are on a budget and can’t afford to part with the average $200+ for a current-generation smartphone. The only downside of course is the two-year contract you are forced to sign.
Best Buy ran a similar promotion earlier this month on the Google Nexus S smartphone, although that offer was slightly more flexible as it was available online as well as in-store. The 3GS offer is only available at retail stores.
Best Buy and AT&T are likely looking to move inventory of the aging phone to make way for the next iteration of the iPhone, commonly referred to as the iPhone 5. The rumor mill surrounding Apple’s next mobile phone has been fast and furious as of late. Initially everyone suspected the next release would be announced in June at WWDC but that date came and passed without mention of new hardware.
More recent rumors suggested a September 7 media event with a subsequent release in early October. The new iPhone is expected to be thinner and lighter than the current iPhone 4, and will be powered by Qualcomm's wireless chips. Rumors have indicated that the iPhone 5 will be an 8MP camera manufactured by Sony featuring dual-LED flash. Higher-resolution pictures and video will be better viewed on the device's rumored larger screen but thinner bezel.