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Dec 15, 2012 12:06 PM by Adrian Covert - CNN Money

Wal-Mart slashes prices on iPhone and iPad

The retail giant announced plans Friday to offer the 16 GB iPhone 5 for $127 (normally $189.97) and the 16GB iPhone 4S for $47 (normally $87.97), along with a two-year contract. They'll also sell the third-generation iPad for $399.

While it was reported elsewhere that Wal-Mart is discounting the recently announced fourth-generation iPad, a Wal-Mart spokesperson confirmed with CNNMoney that it is, in fact, the third-generation model, which has a less powerful CPU.

Apple (AAPL, Fortune 500) discounts aren't unheard of this time of year, but Wal-Mart's (WMT, Fortune 500) will be tough to beat. Best Buy (BBY, Fortune 500) and Radio Shack (RSH) both have discounts on the iPhone 5 and iPhone 4S, offering as much as $50 off advertised prices, along with gift certificates to sweeten the deal. Apple's own Black Friday sale offered up iPods and previous-geneneration iPads for $30-$40 off the regular price.

As for the iPad discount, Wal-Mart appears to be following in the footsteps of past sales. In July, Fry's knocked $100 off the iPad 2. But by then, the iPad 3 had already been available for almost six months.

While the iPad sales just seem like an offloading of stale products, Wal-Mart's motivations for discounting the iPhone aren't exactly clear. Some, such as the LA Times, speculate that dragging sales are to blame. Whatever the case, it's best not to sleep on this deal if you're in the market for one of these devices. Wal-Mart told MacRumors that the sale is first come, first serve depending on inventory, and rain checks will not be issued.

May the shopping gods be with you.

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