The $99 iPhone is here — but probably in limited quantities.
AT&T (T) is selling Apple’s (AAPL) phone refurbished for $100 off its retail price. That means 8GB iPhones are $99 and 16GB iPhones are $199 — both with a 2-year contract and 90-day warranty.
We assume the carrier is trying to get rid of its inventory before the end of the year and that the $99 refurbished units won’t be in heavy supply for long.
But we also don’t think it’ll be long before Apple and AT&T drop the price for new iPhones to $99.
Apple is in the early stages of a platform land grab against Google (GOOG), Research In Motion (RIMM) and perhaps Palm (PALM), and market share is important. Dropping the iPhone’s price to $99 could dramatically increase sales. And at least one Wall Street analyst has calculated that Apple can drop the iPhone’s price within a few months and maintain its margins.