The March 14 market entry of Samsung Galaxy S4 is a heartbeat away and sellers are rushing to push out their stocks of the Galaxy S3 by offering it for one cent like in Amazon Wireless.
The blockbuster deal comes with a two-year Sprint contract so obviously the virtual giveaway benefits mostly those in the United States. But it also signals that the pricing trend for the S3 heads downward and this will eventually catch up with other markets around the world.
Analysts take the price cuts as normal at this point, put into effect both by Apple and Samsung whenever a product launch is right around the block. They are hitting two birds with one stone - to clear inventories and to keep old gadgets selling leading to higher revenues.
The ploy proved beneficial for Apple. More than a year after the iPhone 4S was rolled out, it remains a big seller. According to Strategic Analytics, Apple's 4S sold more than 17 million units during the 2012 holiday quarter, outpacing even the Galaxy S3.
The S3, on the other hand, landed on third place following its top-notch performance in the previous quarter. By the end of December, the Samsung flagship clocked an equally impressive 15.4 million units sold as against to iPhone 5's giant leap of 27.4 million units.
But Samsung is far from being worried as statistics showed that even its old handsets were doing very well. In January, the company reported that the Galaxy S2 has registered more than 40 million unit buys.
The not so-secret formula to the enduring appeal of iPhone 4S and Galaxy S2 is deep price cuts. Expect the same approach to characterise the future market movements of the Galaxy S3 once the quad-core Galaxy S4 starts showing its wares this April.
The Amazon-Sprint deal is but the beginning of bargain deals to be seen involving the Galaxy S3, analysts said, adding that while Apple may not implement the same dramatic offers the iPhone 5 will also likely see significant price discounts in the immediate months ahead.
Other come-ons from telcos and retailers in the U.S. saw the Galaxy Note 2 taking price cuts that leave the phablet to as low as $US70, a level that is seen to become more compelling as the Galaxy Note 3 nears its unveiling.
Right now it appears that a penny still commands a value, enabling anyone willing to go Sprint to enjoy a shiny and new Galaxy S3.