Attractive discounts on Samsung's Galaxy S3 are now being offered by global distributors, probably to clear out stocks as the rumoured April commercial release of is more powerful replacement, the Galaxy S4, nears.
In the United States, the Galaxy S3 is practically a giveaway from Amazon Wireless, which offers the million-selling Android handset for a penny, that is $US0.01. In exchange, buyers will have to jump into Sprint's services and agree for a lock-in period.
Note that the deal is open only for new Sprint subscribers but existing clients who wish to upgrade can do so but they will need to shell out more than a penny.
According to Phandroid, Sprint customers planning to get hold of the quad-core S3 will need to pay up $US100 before they can upgrade their device. Those opting to own the Samsung the smartphone as a second device only need to cough up $US60. The same terms pretty much apply to all the deals, Amazon said.
In India, online sellers now offer the unlocked Galaxy S3 16GB model for as low as $630 following its price debut of $780 last year. Retailer also shaved off the tag price for the Galaxy S Duos, which now sells for only $270.
Price cuts now abound for the high-end Samsung Galaxy smartphones, analysts said, to make way for the entry of their more powerful replacements and to keep the inventory moving despite the arrival of new model variants.
The Galaxy Note 2, for instance, now retails for $US100, also on Sprint following strong indication that the 6.3-inch Galaxy Note 3 will crash the global tech scene through the 2013 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
And with the Galaxy S4 set for a preview either on March 15 or March 22, sellers are racing to mark down their prices to capitalise on the perceived rush among consumers to get of hold of the mobile devices (on lower model) they've been eyeing for.
The same tack is observed by Apple, which saw the iPhone 4S attracting volumes in quarterly buys, and in many cases clocking better sales numbers than the iPhone 5.
Analysts expect the old and new handsets from Apple and Samsung to continue slugging it our even as many consumers train their attention on the iPhone 5 and Galaxy S3 replacements.
The iPhone 5S is rumoured to sport A7 chips and the vastly-improved iOS 7 while the Galaxy S4 is believed to carry the energy-efficient 8-core Exynos processor with JellyBean 4.2 (upgradeable to Key Lime Pie) running its operations.