In a surprising move, it appears that Best Buy will no longer let customers buy the iPhone X and iPhone 8 at full price anymore. Instead, the retailer states that it will now only sell the two devices through monthly carrier payment plans. Reported by Bloomberg, the retailer came under heavy criticism when it said that it would charge an extra $100 on top of the price you would already pay for the iPhone X. The iPhone 8 was also marked up the same way.
“Although there was clearly demand for the unactivated iPhone X, selling it that way cost more money, causing some confusion with our customers and noise in the media,” a spokesperson told Bloomberg. “That’s why we decided a few days ago to only sell the phone the traditional way, through installment billing plans.”
It's definitely interesting to see such a move from Best Buy. Many consumers these days don't opt to pay hundreds of dollars at once for a phone. Rather, they prefer to do with the monthly installment billing method when building flagship devices. The $100 premium price over the already-premium priced iPhone X was only done if you buy the device at full price, not on carrier installment plan.
We certainly don't know what “costs more money” means exactly, since Best Buy didn't go into any details. This does, however, remove the option for people who don't want to pay installments and would rather prefer to buy the device outright. Right now, Apple isn't selling the unlocked version of the iPhone X, so you have to buy it with a carrier account.
This isn't the first time Best Buy has put a small premium over the already-expensive smartphones. When Best Buy promotes $100, $200, or even $300 sales off smartphones, they are generally applied to monthly installments. The bonus isn't applied to phones that are bought outright. You could, however, buy the phone on installments, pay a few hundred upfront, and then after the first billing cycle pay the phone off entirely as you would upfront. It's an alternate option for those interested in buying the devices outright.