We owe you an explanation about the price at which we sold unactivated iPhones.
Many customers told us they like to buy a phone that is not “activated,” meaning it does not come with a carrier contract. This may be because they broke a phone and want to replace it or are on a company plan and not allowed to upgrade. Best Buy chose to meet the needs of these customers by selling unactivated phones. To accommodate this, we gave consumers the choice to buy the iPhone X through installment plans with carriers or buy it outright, unactivated. These unactivated phones were priced higher than those we sold with a contract to reflect the fact that the phone carriers only pay us when a phone we’ve sold has been activated on their network.
Thirty-six hours after we started taking pre-orders for the iPhone X, we faced a bit of a media storm because it looked like we were simply charging more money for an iPhone X, for no reason. Naturally, because we care about how the consumer perceives us, we’ve stopped selling it that way.
We tried something designed to offer choice but instead created confusion. We may try again at some point, only this time with better execution. In the meantime, we are still selling the iPhone X on the traditional installment billing plans at market price.