Apple Watch for $49 at Best Buy

Paul Ausick

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) is not only having trouble selling iPhones in China, U.S. buyers are not very enthusiastic either. And if anything, enthusiasm for the Apple Watch is even cooler. So Best Buy Co. Inc. (NYSE: BBY) has put together an offer that both it and Apple probably hope customers can’t refuse.

Best Buy is offering an Apple Watch at $250 off the list price with the purchase of an iPhone 6s or 6s Plus with a two-year contract, lease, or monthly installment plan for Verizon, AT&T or Sprint. That means customers can get a $299 Sport 38mm rose gold aluminum-cased Apple Watch (MLCH2LL/A) for $49 or a $349 Sport 42mm Gold aluminum-cased Apple Watch (MLC72LL/A) for $99.

The offer commenced Sunday morning and has no specific closing date we could find. There’s a lot of fine print, too.

At its Worldwide Developer’s Conference last week, Apple announced an upgraded operating system (WatchOS 3) coming this fall with a promise from the company’s vice president of technology that “your favorite apps should respond instantly.” One of the big beefs with the Apple Watch was its slow response.

A bigger headache for the company is that China reportedly has halted sales of Apple’s iPhone 6 and 6 Plus over a patent dispute. According to a report at Forbes, Apple has denied that sales have been stopped:

The reports aren’t accurate. Here’s our comment: iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus as well as iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus and iPhone SE models are all available for sale today in China. We appealed an administrative order from a regional patent tribunal in Beijing last month and as a result the order has been stayed pending review by the Beijing IP Court.

Apple is also expected to launch the iPhone 7 in the fall and, as with any technology product, while customers wait for the new device they stop buying the old one.

The offer from Best Buy is meant to counter that, but leading with the Apple Watch is not terribly likely to be an offer customers can’t refuse.