Apple cuts iPhone 4S price in the US

Apple’s cut the price of the iPhone 4S, in an unusual move that’s presumably designed to maintain sales ahead of the iPhone 5’s launch later this year.

In the past, it’s avoided cutting prices of earlier models until the next one appears, with the exception of offers such as back-to-school vouchers.

Now, though, its retail stores are offering the discount in an attempt to match offers from vendors such as Target, Best Buy or Sprint – which recently said it would waive the phone’s activation fee as well.

Purchasers will need to ask for the discount, and quote a lower price seen elsewhere. The offer appears to be available only at bricks-and-mortar stores, and not online.

Thanks to the discount, the iPhone 4S will now cost $349.99 for the 64GB model, $249.99 for 32GB, and $149.99 for the 16GB model.

There’s no word on price cuts outside the US.

Apple’s been disappointed with sales of the iPhone – which accounts for learly half its revenues – in recent months. Last month, it reported sales of 26 million iPhones for the quarter – 28 percent up on the same period last year, but below industry expectations.