Apple’s iPhone 5 is at the center of a bitter pricing spat between Walmart and Best Buy.
Best Buy is railing against Walmart, which it says engaged in some pretty dubious tactics with its iPhone 5 sale over the holidays, The Wall Street Journal reports.
In early December, Best Buy cut the price of the iPhone 5 by $50 to $149. Wal Mart followed suit later that week, further dropping the phone’s price to $127. No big problem there — that’s basic price-undercutting.
The problem, Best Buy alleges, is that Wal-Mart was discounting the phones when it didn’t have many of them in stock. This became a big issue for Best Buy, whose price matching program meant that it was losing even more money on sales of the iPhone — at least $65,000, according to the company — even when Walmart didn’t have them in stock.
Walmart, of course, denies the allegations and says that the stores that carried the device were 98 percent in stock. (Unsurprisingly, the discounting behemoth also denied to give exact sales numbers.)
While the spat sounds like a minor one, it comes as both Walmart and Best Buy are fighting a bigger, more dangerous enemy — Amazon. To defend themselves against the online juggernaut, both Best Buy and Walmart are intent on branding themselves as the best option for price-conscious consumers.
And the stakes are pretty high — especially for Best Buy — which is why it’s no surprise to see the two companies so viciously at each other’s throats.