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Apple to match major retailers' iPhone discounts: up to $49 iPhone 4, $149 iPhone 4S

Apple has instructed its retail stores to match the iPhone discounts being offered by major retailers including AT&T, Best Buy, Radio Shack, Target, Sprint and Verizon when customers present competitive offers.

Apple's publicly advertised prices for the iPhone 4 and 4S are $49.01 higher than a variety of retailers and carriers are currently offering, as the entire retail channel prepares to sell off existing models to make way for the upcoming iPhone 5.

Now, according to a report by MacRumors, Apple Retail stores are authorized to match prices when customers request the discount and indicate where they saw it.

Apart form the already "free with contract" iPhone 3GS, this makes the 8GB iPhone 4 just $49.99 rather than $99, and drops the iPhone 4S price range from $199, $299 and $399 for the 16, 32 and 64GB models to $149, $249 and $349.